5 Strange and Obsolete Indian Laws

by on December 13, 2011.0comments

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The Anna Hazare effect has shaken the government pretty hard. Never since Mahatma Gandhi has a government been afraid of an old man going on a fast until death. Be Warned!! Taking heed from the public opinion,new laws are on the way as the Lok Sabha embarks on its Winter Session. But what about some of the older laws? Unlike Americans who believe that it islegal to kill natives if 7 or more of them are together (apparently this is seen as a raiding party), India has laws that make a bit more sense even if that’s not saying much. For some of the laws that make not-so-much sense, we have our very own Lok Sabha (Joke Sabha, anyone?) to thank.  We have listed five laws which have been a tad too controversial, a bit funny or have become older than L. K. Advani and no longer make sense. Law Commission, take note: 5. Indian Telegraph Act,1885: Why on earth do we still have a Telegraph act, when the only people who used telegraphs (again, L.K. Advani) are not going to use the telegraph to take over India. The Indian Telegraph Act was passed in 1885, when the concept of television obviously didn’t exist.It has been invoked five times in the past few years by Doordarshan over telecast rights of cricket matches played in India. This very nearly derailed the telecast of the 1996 World cup. Although most of the provisions in this act are taken care of by Telecom Regulatory Act of 1994, this law is yet to be revoked fully. We would still be watching this on Door darshan Obviously, removing this Law will be a far better option than having to put up with such broadcasts. 4. Internet Censorship, Kapil Sibal’s big idea: Kapil Sibal recently came in news as he declared that “offensive” pictures on social networking websites will be censored. Well, okay we wish him best of luck in trying to find all of them! Anyway, what is he trying to do? Turn India into another China? This may just be wishful thinking but “Image censorship does not a China make,”  Mr Sibal. A very Sexy Image of Katrina Kaif 3. The LGBT and Adulterers: Adultery is a crime under Section 497 of the IPC. Not only being very difficult to apprehend the offenders (eg. Tiger Woods), there are some very gender discriminatory provisions in this act. According to Section 497, only the male who was cheating on his wife would be sentenced and sent to jail, and the dishonest wife could go on with her sexcapades. Speaking of Gender Discrimination, we come to the much debated section 377. For all those of you who are interested,here is the exact wording of section 377. This section was formed during the British rule and illegalizes any form of sexual intercourse which is “against the order of nature”. Even though the Delhi High court struck down this law in its decision, the actual amendment is yet to be made, meaning that Neil Patrick Harris cannot come to India without the fear of getting arrested. And yet, Justin Bieber can. Pic Unrelated 2. The Legal Drinking Age: This law, although under the jurisdiction of the state government, has been a matter of nationwide debate, especially for the younger members of the population.Whereas the legal voting age throughout the country is at a tender (?) 18 years, the legal drinking age varies among the states. For eg. people in Maharashtra cannot buy alcohol until they are 25 years old, according to a recently passed legislation. Even so, they have it better than Gujarat, Nagaland and Mizoram where alcohol consumption is banned. Come on guys, if one is old enough to decide who the next prime minister of India will be, he also has the right to decide whether to drink alcohol or not. India has one of the highest legal drinking age when compared to that of the countries around the world. In Russia, the legal drinking age is measured in dog years 1. Suicides Legal, But Attmepts Not: In India, attempted suicide is an offence punishable under Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code. It is actually a funny thing, because if you succeed, you die.  And if you fail, you are arrested, and die anyway. This is similar to customs in ancient Athens, where a person who committed suicide was denied a right of proper burial. On the other hand, we have our Japanese, where you are expected to kill yourself if you fail in your duties. (Are you still listening, Politicians??) They even have a ritual called harakiri which is basically an elaborate way to kill yourself. YOU! Are going to be arrested! While India badly needs efficient laws, the time spent by the law-making body on the job is unbelievably little. Parliament spends less than 0.6 per cent of a Lok Sabha day on law-making. Looks like we will have to wait for the Lokpal to see our politicians actually working for the interests of our country. Till then, we will have to rely on an old man to go hungry every time we want to get things done

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