New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday
came down heavily on the city government for forcing the
beggars to leave the city for their native states terming it
as a "crime against humanity" and equated it with the action
of Mahararashtra Navnirman Sena`s campaign against migrants.
A bench comprising Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice
S Muralidhar took strong exception to such action saying
"poverty is not a crime" and beggars cannot be forced to leave
"It is a crime against humanity. What is the
difference between it and what MNS is doing in Maharastra?"
the Bench said while referring to Raj Thackeray-led party`s
attacks on "outsiders", mainly migrants from Uttar Pradesh and
Bihar, in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra.
"It`s strange that a criminal can reside in the city
but if someone is asking for alms then he is thrown away," the
The Court sought the assistance of Attorney General to
deal with de-criminalisation of begging as under Bombay
Prevention Of Begging Act it is a criminal offence punishable
upto three years of imprisonment if arrested for the first
time and he/she can face to ten year jail term for repetition
of the offence.
The Court was hearing a PIL filed by one well-known
social activist Harsh Mandher challenging the constitutional
validity of the Act.