Since the past few years, many laws have been developed by the Indian government to curb illegal activities in the country. Phrases such as the right to dissent, sedition laws and freedom of expression have become a mix. Well, one thing that has changed positively is that people have started talking about these things in the open today. But we must not forget that there are certain laws which must be considered otherwise which, we may end up putting ourselves behind the bars. Let’s have a look at a few illegal activities that can get you arrested in India.
Smoking in public
Smoking in public was not a crime a few years back but today, if you are a smoker, you need to think twice before smoking in public. Smoking in public places is illegal and a fine of 200 can be imposed if found smoking in open. Public Places that have strictly restricted smoking includes bus stops, offices, hospitals, auditoriums and railway stations. Nonetheless, the law has provided smokers with some exceptions like restaurants, designated smoking zones and airports. If you break the law, you will have to either pay a fine or could be under remand due to breaking public nuisance laws.
Getting involved in PDA
Whether you believe it or not, showing affection in public or getting involved in PDA can get you arrested in India. If caught, you might be sent to jail for 3 months. Though, there are few exemptions under Section 24 of the IPA which states PDA is illegal only if it is regarded as an annoyance to the public and any kind of complaint is raised against it. Some sections indeed outlaw the singing of ballads or obscene songs in public. This means, being a roadside Romeo is not a good idea in India.
Pulling the emergency chain to stop a train
As we all know that every compartment in a train comes with an emergency brake chain that can stop the train if pulled by any passenger. Though, pulling the chain without any suitable reason can not only lead you to pay a hefty fine but can even land you in jail under the Railways Act. Even dropping your luggage or phone out of windows does not come under a valid cause behind pulling the chain.
Offending religious beliefs or symbols
While Indians have always shown sentiments towards their religion, the Indian Penal Code has certain provisions under Section 295. The law says that if a person or a group offends other religion beliefs or symbols, the person or the group shall be punished. For instance, ridiculing any religion or misinterpreting it knowingly is illegal and can get you arrested in India.
More than 10 couples dancing on the same stage
Yes! The Licensing and Controlling Places of Amusement (Other than Cinemas) 1960 states that more than 10 couples dancing on the same floor at the same time is illegal. Under such a case, the law has the power to either shut down the event or reduce the number of people on the dance floor.
Offending the national anthem
Although Indian law does not necessarily tell you to sing along or stand during the national anthem, the sensitivity behind the topic has raised several opinions recently. While you can get yourself away from participating, offending the decorum in public where the national anthem is been played is illegal. This is because such an action would constitute an insult to national honour and is punishable with three years in jail.
Drinking at an illegal age
Now, this is a tricky law and fluctuates with time. If you plan to drink in India, ensure the correct age when you can start drinking. Some Indian states such as Himachal Pradesh, Goa and Madhya Pradesh allows drinking at an age of 18 whereas, in others such as Maharashtra, the legal drinking age starts from 25. So, if you are between 18-25, do check the legal drinking age decided by the state government before taking liquor shots.
Using insulting words for any community
Casteism and racial discrimination are two social issues that have been in limelight for the past few decades. Using insulting words against any community or tribe is now illegal in India and carries a hefty fine along with 5 years jail.
Fixing your teeth or getting ears cleaned by roadside vendors
As per Chapter V in Section 49 of the Dentist Act 1948, dentistry on street is illegal in India. Although you may be charged less by street vendors, if caught, you might have to spend 10,000 rupees as a fine. Similarly, getting your ears cleaned on the roadside is non-justifiable and can lead you towards severe damages which is the reason both are banned in India.
The act of suicide is illegal in many parts of the world like India. If a person tries to commit suicide and fails, the person might get arrested according to Section 309 of IPC. Even though Mental Health Care Bill has nullified this law by stating that a person attempting to suicide can suffer from mental illness, it can still lead the person behind bars if proven mentally fit.
Drinking on the Goa’s beachside
If you have been to Goa, you may have relaxed beside the beach, sitting with a chilled beer in hand. Well, you need to stop drinking on the beachside as doing so can prove costly. In the past few months, many local drinkers and tourists have been arrested by the Goa police. Meanwhile, the matter has become a topic of debate whether or not drinking on the beachside is culpable under the Tourist Trade Act.
Misuse of National Flag
While a person can easily wear shorts or a bikini with a Star-Spangled Banner or with Union Jack in the US or UK, using a flag as a drapery falls under a punishable act in India. The Flag Code of 2002 states it as an illegal activity and can get the person arrested for 3 years of imprisonment.
As we know that sodomy is illegal, in a hetero-normative society such as India, oral sex is illegal just like any other form of unnatural sex. Section 377 of the IPC restricts oral sex in India and if found, can put you in jail. So, next time think twice before pleasing your partner and if you do not want to get arrested in India.