Mobile court launched in Delhi to prosecute beggars
Last Updated: Tuesday, September 01, 2009, 17:45
New Delhi: In a bid to free the city of 60,000 beggars ahead of next year's Commonwealth Games, Delhi Government on Tuesday launched two mobile courts -- the first of its kind in the city -- to prosecute those involved in begging.

Delhi Social Welfare and Labour Minister Mangat Ram Singhal launched the courts at a function where he reaffirmed the city government's commitment to make all efforts to eradicate the menace from the national capital.

"We are determined to rid the city of beggars before commencement of the Commonwealth Games next year," he said.

Officials said government would set up two more mobile courts soon so as to enforce anti-beggary laws.

Each mobile court will have a retired judge, a policeman and an official from the department of social welfare.

The Government has already purchased 12 vehicles to track down the beggars while a control room, assisted by police, is being set up to speed up convictions.

Begging is an offence under the Prevention of Begging Act, 1959.

Officials said initially, the plan is to launch anti-beggary drive in areas like Dhaula Kuan, Rajghat and AIIMS area.

The move is part of government's various efforts to spruce up the city ahead of the mega sporting event which is expected to be witnessed by thousands of foreigners.

The government will also tie-up with police for a hassle-free operation while a special control room will be set up so that the mobile courts can reach the spot where a beggar is found.

Currently, there are 12 beggar homes across the city where in all 1,500 beggars can be lodged.

The official said the Social Welfare department has requested the Delhi Police to maintain zero tolerance in acting against the beggars.

He said the department has also decided to construct open shelter homes for beggars in the city and requested managing committees of various temples, mosques and gurudwaras not to allow beggars roam around the religious places.

The official said government was also preparing a biometric database of beggars in the city.

The Delhi High Court had on August 10 had asked the city government to make all out efforts to eradicate the menace from the national capital.

A Division Bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Ajit Bharihoke had asked the Social Welfare department of the Delhi Government to have a discussion with governments of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and come out with a solution to the problem.

Bureau Report

First Published: Tuesday, September 01, 2009, 17:45

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