Delhi bringing bill against touting

If passed, law will safeguard tourists' interests against touts

jasleen

Jasleen Kaur | November 15, 2010



The Delhi cabinet has decided to lay the Delhi Prevention of Touting and Malpractices against Tourists Ordinance 2010 before the legislative assembly.  It will be placed before the assembly in the winter session which commences on November 23, 2010.  The bill, if passed by the assembly will replace an ordinance promulgated by lieutenant-governor on October 1, 2010 keeping in view the importance and urgency due to the Commonwealth Games.

The decision was taken on Monday in a cabinet meeting presided over by the chief minister Sheila Dikshit.

Earlier there was no specific act to deal with the menace of touts. Dikshit said it was also necessary to have a separate bill on toutism as the term tout of the Act touting was no where mentioned in the IPC 1860.

As per definition given in the draft bill malpractice includes dis-honesty, cheating, impersonation and obstruction in allowing free choice for shopping or stay or travel arrangements.  The new Act will have provisions for the prevention of acts of touting and malpractices with reference to tourists visiting Delhi. It will prevent enticing, mis-guiding or coercing for shopping, accommodation, transportation, sight-seeing or pestering for any particular premises, therefore, any persons, establishment, dealer or manufacturer for personal consideration.  The provisions of the bill will be enforced by the present staff strength of Delhi Police.

The offences will be cognizable and bailable.  Any persons who touts or commits malpractice shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine which may extend to Rs.10,000/- or with both.  Further any attempt to commit an offence punishable under the Act shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine which may extend to Rs.2000/- or both. 

The draft bill also envisages powers of police officers and procedure for speedy investigation and trial of offences.  The Commissioner of Police or any Police Officer not below the rank of DCP, authorized in this behalf by general or special order by the CP, shall have power to declare any person who is habitually or repeatedly involved in activities punishable under the new act, out of bounds from Delhi or any part thereof, for a period which shall not be less than six months but may extend to one year.    

While formulation of the draft bill similar acts prevalent in other states were referred.

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