Proposed Amendment to Railways Act 1989
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II – Policies and interventions & GS-III – Infrastructure – Railways
- Recently, the Ministry of Railways has proposed to decriminalise begging on trains or railway premises.
- It has also proposed to compound the offence of smoking by levying spot fine.
- These changes are part of an exercise to decriminalise/rationalise penalties under the provisions of the Railway Act, 1989.
- Section 144 (2) of the Act: If any person begs in any railway carriage or upon a railway station, s/he shall be liable for punishment of either imprisonment for a term that may extend to one year, or with a fine that may extend to Rs. 2,000, or with both.
- Proposed Amendment: No person shall be permitted to beg in any railway carriage or upon any part of the Railway.
- Section 167 of the Act: No person in any compartment of a train shall, if objected to by any other passenger, smoke therein. Irrespective of any objections raised, the railway administration may prohibit smoking in any train or part of a train. Whosoever contravenes these provisions shall be punishable with a fine that may extend to Rs.100.
- Proposed Amendment: If the person liable to pay the fine is willing to pay it immediately, the officer authorised may compound the offence by charging the maximum fine which will be paid to the railway administration. Provided that, the offender shall be discharged and no further proceeding shall be taken against him/her in respect of such offence.