Government says begging a crime, High Court asks take a standhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/government-says-begging-a-crime-high-court-asks-take-a-stand-5186039/

Government says begging a crime, High Court asks take a stand

Earlier, the Centre had said the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment was working on a draft Bill to decriminalise begging and rehabilitate beggars and homeless people.

The Central government on Monday told the Delhi High Court that begging will not be decriminalised. (File)

The Central government on Monday told the Delhi High Court that begging will not be decriminalised since it is not just a social issue but has wider implications and could be linked to organised crimes such as beggars’ syndicates indulging in kidnapping of children.

In a U-turn from its earlier stand, when it had said that the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment was working on a draft Bill to decriminalise begging and rehabilitate beggars and homeless people, the government told the court that as the matter concerns law and order, it may be prudent to implead Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

The bench replied, “The writ petition is of 2009, and in 2017 you sought time to file your counter. Now you are saying you have written to the MHA…(which) is not responding…. You are the government of India, (yet) you take such stand…. It’s pathetic.”

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