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NCJ Number: 91201 Find in a Library
Title: Administration of Beggary Prevention Laws in India - A Legal Aid View-Point
Journal: International Journal of the Sociology of Law  Volume:11  Issue:3  Dated:(August 1983)  Pages:291-304
Author(s): B B Pande
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 14
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This paper examines the historic and legal background for the official response to beggary in India and discusses the development of and the problems encountered by legal aid services.
Abstract: In early times, Indian society tolerated and even approved the practice of living on alms or charity so as to discourage a competitive spirit in the bulk of the population and legitimize the privileged position of a few. Throughout the latter part of the 20th century, the trend of migration of population from the rural to new urban centers has continued, resulting in the conditions of unemployment, rootlessness, and poverty that have contributed to the growth of beggary. The beggar population consists largely of the diseased, the old, and the disabled. There are few old age benefits, social security, or employment guarantee measures for most of the destitute population. Currently, there are 15 beggary prevention acts operating in 13 States and two union territories. The Delhi University Students Legal Services Clinic, which has traditionally provided legal services to the poor, has recently expanded its services to those charged under such an act in Delhi. The services provided accuseds include writing bail applications, trial stage representatives (with the permission of the magistrate), and filling bail bond, surety bond paper, and postacquittal property release applications. Although these legal aid services were welcome to the Social Welfare Directorate personnel, opposition was found among legal personnel and those strongly supporting a punitive approach for dealing with the beggary problem. While the services help to protect the civil liberties of accuseds, they do little to remedy the socioeconomic situation that makes beggary necessary for many people. Six notes are provided.
Index Term(s): India; Legal aid services; Vagrancy
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