Delhi HC Abolishes Beggars Court 4 Months After Decriminalising Begging
The Delhi High Court has abolished the Beggars Court, through a public notice dated December 20. The move comes four months after the court struck down anti-begging provisions as unconstitutional.
The notice also announcesthe immediate transfer of the following judicial officers:
- Shelly Arora
- Vijeta Singh Rawa
- Saumya Chauhan
- Harvinder Singh
- Arun Goel
- Ajay Kumar Malik
- Richa Parihar
- Preeti Parewa
- Swati Sharma
- Prigya Gupta
- Gopal Krishan
It further stated that the concerned District & Sessions Judge will ensure that proper track is kept about movement of cases from transferor court(s) to transferee court(s) due to above postings/transfers. This is to ensure that no inconvenience is caused to lawyers and litigants in transfer of cases.
The notice added that the cases transferred shall be duly notified on the website of District Courts as also outside the transferor court(s).
The high court had, in August this year, struck down several provisions of the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act as unconstitutional.
A bench comprising then Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C. Hari Shankar had opined that criminalizing begging is the “wrong approach to deal with the underlying causes of the problem”, asserting, “It ignores the reality that people who beg are the poorest of the poor and marginalized in society. Criminalizing begging violates the most fundamental rights of some of the most vulnerable people in our society. People in this stratum do not have access to basic necessities such as food, shelter and health, and in addition criminalizing them denies them the basic fundamental right to communicate and seek to deal with their plight.”
It had further clarified that the inevitable consequence of the decision would be that the prosecutions under the Act against persons alleged to have committed the offence of begging would be liable to be struck down.