Monday, August 10, 2009

Acts and Penal Codes in India

The Indian Constitution and legal administration is one of the most comprehensive collections in the world. Legislative acts and the IPC cover almost every aspect of life in India. And they are planning to cover more. But, apart from the seriousness of these acts, and penal codes they have a funny side too. Their names sound funny, the aspect they cover sometimes sounds funny and sometimes, their existence itself sounds funny. Here is a list of a few acts and IPC sections, which might tickle your funny bone

  1. COFEPOSA: Does this sound like your neighbourhood coffee shop? Not your fault entirely. It stands for Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act. Enacted in 1974.
  2. MISA: Maintenance of Internal Security Act. Enacted in 1973, by Indira Gandhi. It was then repealed by the Janata government in 1977. Lalu Prasad Yadav named his daughter Misa Bharti, after this act, as she was born when he was in jail under this act.
  3. Sarais Act, 1867: Enacted to regulate the sarais or inns in India. It has peculiar provisions. Under this act, it is compulsory for any inn-keeper or provider of food in his premises, to serve water free of cost. Sometime back, a five-star hotel was pulled in the Supreme Court for violation of this act. Also, the inn-keeper has to make provisions of space and amenities to bullocks, camels and horses. So, if anybody refuses to park your animal, you can take them to court.
  4. Bengal Districts Act, 1836: In short, this act gives the Bengal government the power to create as many districts as it wants in its state. It is still in place.
  5. Sections 44, 45 and 46: These sections of the IPC define the words injury, life and death respectively. The word "death" as per section 46 applies to the death of a human, unless the contrary appears from the context.
  6. Section 375: This section defines the word "rape". However, under this section, only a man can rape a woman and not vice-versa.
  7. Fort William Act, 1881: An act that makes provisions to provide for the better governence of Fort William, Calcutta. Covers lot of peculiar things, such as soil removal in unauthorised hours, beating drums or tom-toms, servants smoking hookahs in their masters' house, etc.
  8. Hackney-carriage Act, 1879: It was formulated to regulate the hackney-carriages in some areas of British India. Wonder, where are hackney-carriages used anymore?
  9. Kazis Act, 1880: It sets the rules for the government to appoint any person to the post of Kazi.
  10. Sheriffs' Fees Act, 1850: An act for deciding the clauses for remuneration of the sheriffs of Bombay, Calcutta and Madras.
  11. Sir Dinshaw Maneckji Petit Act, 1893 and Sir Jamshetji Jejeebhoy Baronetcy Act, 1915: Tried to find information on these, but couldn't get any. These are probably the only two acts in India, named after two persons.
  12. MCOCA: Does this also sound like your neighbourhood hookah-serving joint? Again, not your fault totally. This stands for the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crimes Act. A very stringent act and can be used in extreme conditions only.
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  1. COFEPOSA :D what a funny name for such serious stuff and the act in pt.3 I totally agree its a good one to have vice-versa huh...wonder why they didn't think that way...

  2. @Radhika
    Most of the Indian Penal Code was written in the Victorian era, including Section 375. In those days, a woman was considered as a man's property. And men were looked upon as hunters of prey. Hence, a man could pounce upon a woman and molest her for any reason (revenge, superiority complex, etc.) but, a woman would not do any such thing as there was nothing to gain.

    There is some other act or section in the IPC under which only a man can be prosecuted for adultery, not a woman!! Whereas, an act of adultery involves both a man and a woman.

  3. woah that's alot of info...thanks for sharing it..btw u've been tagged..chk my blog

  4. Hi Vinay..
    Sorry oflate I havent beem to ur blog..But now I'm free.exams over now..
    Informative post to say the least and yet funny ..hehehe
    seriously LOL at Fort William Act.. heheeh. such peculiar things.. :P

  5. @Shweta,
    Hope your exams went well and that you come out with flying colours.
    And thanks for your comments. India's law and sections are too peculiar!! Remember IPC Sec. 377?

  6. heheheeh yeah right..How can we forget Sec 377..
    Exams were good..waiting for results now..and doing some blogging and reading all the lovely blogs .. :)

  7. I find Sarais Act, 1867 interesting. Every hotel, inn and restaurants obey this unknowingly. But they don't obey the 2nd part. So they have cow catcher in their main gate. I am gonna sue them...ha ha ha !!!

  8. @the adamant soul

    Thanks for your comment. Remember, the act talks about bulls, camels and horses, nothing about cows!