10 Legal Offences In India That Have Serious Punishments Had Corruption Not Been Saving Our Ass

The Indian Penal Code, that is responsible for laws and punishments when those laws are broken in India is quite a complex thing. So complex that there is no other reason as to why half of the law of the country doesn’t follow it. But little do we know that it has actually covered a lot of things. Had there been no corruption to save us from getting fined every second we broke discipline, India would have been a cleaner, peaceful place. So here are 10 offenses that we take so for granted that we don’t realize that they actually are proper legal offenses with repercussions.

1. Drinking at a public place

Act

Let’s just burst the bubble. Drinking at a place is not a legal offense as public places include restaurants, bars etc. However, on moral grounds, drinking at public places is condemned. However, one can be booked under the Indian Penal Code, Sec 268, for causing nuisance under the effect of alcohol. However, the public nuisance caused under this section does not mention any punishment.

Punishment

This is where Section 290 comes to the rescue under which, whoever commits a public nuisance in any case not otherwise punishable by this Code, shall be punished with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees. The offence is non-cognizable, bailable, triable by any Magistrate and non-compoundable.

2. Drink And Drive

Act

As per the Section 185 of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal.

Punishment

For the first offence, one shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees, or with both.

For a second or subsequent offence, if committed within three years of the commission of the previous similar offence, with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine which may extend to three thousand rupees, or with both.

3. Smoking at public places

Act

There is a catch to this. Smoking in public places is not a legal offence whereas smoking at a public place is. One can smoke in a restaurant, hotel etc unless prohibited but one cannot smoke at a public garden, tourist spot, cinemas etc.

Punishment

As per Section 185 of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. The violation of this rule shall be punishable for the first offence with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees, or with both; and for a second or subsequent offence, if committed within three years of the commission of the previous similar offence, with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine which may extend to three thousand rupees, or with both.

4. Misbehaving with stray animals

Act

Under Section 428 and 429 of the Indian Penal Code of 1860,  ‘mischief by killing, poisoning, maiming or rendering useless, any elephant, camel, horse, mule, buffalo, bull, cow or ox, or any other animal of the value of fifty rupees or upwards animal amounts to an offence’.

Punishment

Anyone proved to be an offender is such a case shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both

5. Eve Teasing

Act

While girls might take this as an addition to everyday stress but if we go by legal books, eve-teasing can be termed  as : If a person either physically or mentally offends (outraging the modesty of a girl/lady in the legal parlance) a girl or a lady with the intentions of or knowing well that the self-respect of the victims will be offended, apply the physical or the criminal force.

Punishment

Under Section 354 of Indian penal code (IPC) anyone proved as being in the action of eve teasing shall be liable to get a two years jail term, or may be fined or both. This is a bailable crime but be noted there cannot be a compromise after the case is registered.

6. Dowry

Giving Or Taking Dowry

Under the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, if anyone gives or takes or abets the giving or taking of dowry, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than five years, and with the fine which shall not be less than fifteen thousand rupees or the amount of the value of such dowry, whichever is more.

Under the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, if anyone gives or takes or abets the giving or taking of dowry, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than five years, and with the fine which shall not be less than fifteen thousand rupees or the amount of the value of such dowry, whichever is more.

Demanding Dowry

If any person demands directly or indirectly, from the parents or other relatives or guardian of a bride or bridegroom as the case may be, any dowry, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to two years and with fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees:

7. Ragging

According to the law, every institute is obligated to lodge a FIR for every single incident of ragging or abetting in ragging. A student too can register an FIR  personally against an incident of ragging.

As per the law following acts come under ragging:

294 – Obscene acts and songs
323 – punishment for voluntarily causing hurt
324 – voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapon or means
325 – punishment for voluntarily causing grievous hurt
326 – voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapon
339 – Wrongful Restraint
340 – Wrongful Confinement
341 – Punishment for Wrongful Restraint
342 – Punishment for Wrongful Confinement
506 – Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder

These acts further mention the punishments as per the offence.

8. Domestic Violence

The cases of domestic violence are surging higher year by year with most of them unregistered.

Act

As per Section 498, any person can complain about any incident where a family member has offended him or her cruelly or with the intention of cruelty, as a case of domestic violence. This law is applicable for or against any member regardless of gender.

The act was further strengthened by introducing the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005. This law defined ‘violence’ not only through physical attributes but also covered all forms of mental, sexual, verbal or economic abuse, in a broader way.

Punishment

The law tends to provide protection to the victim rather than penalizing the culprit criminally. Under this act, women can file a petition for protection. This includes protection orders (ordering the offender to stop violence), residence orders, monetary relief, custody orders and compensation orders.

9. Public Indecency

Our society is still struggling with taboos around kissing and hugging in public and sex is altogether a completely different story.

Act

Because this law does not give explicit definitions of PDA, it is blatantly misused by police and lower courts to harass couples, especially during valentine’s day. Usually, people are booked against causing ‘public nuisance’. 

Punishment

Under section 294 of the Indian Penal Code, Public Display of Affection (PDA) is a criminal offence with a punishment of imprisonment up to 3 months or a fine, or both. 

10. Disrespecting National Flag/Symbols

As per this act. not standing for the national anthem too is an offence.

Act

Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971 is an Act of the Parliament of India which prohibits desecration of or insults to the country’s national symbols, including the National Flag, The Constitution, and the National Anthem.

Punishment

Anyone who within public view burns, mutilates, defaces, defiles, disfigures, destroys, tramples upon or otherwise shows disrespect to or brings into contempt (whether by words, either spoken or written, or by acts) the Indian National Flag or the Constitution of India or any part thereof, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term up to  three years, or with fine, or with both.

Flag Code

There is also a Flag Code, which prescribes dos and don’ts of use and display of the Tricolour. 

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Shaista Singh

You might find me chalking out posts, basking in the world of expression at work. In love with blogging and the world of SEO! I am happy finding my balance in expression and the way google works.

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