Section 24 – Employment of juvenile or child for begging – Juvenile Justice

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(1) Whoever, employees or uses any juvenile or the child for the purpose or causes any juvenile to beg shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.

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(2) Whoever, having the actual charge of, or control over a juvenile or the child abets the commission of the offence punishable under sub-section (I), shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year and shall also be liable to fine.

Comment:

Employment of juveniles or children for the purpose of begging has been made an offence punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with fine, under this section. Sub-section (2) further provides that where a person having actual charge of or control over the child abets this offence, he shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year and shall also be liable to fine.

It may be noted that Section 363A of the Indian Penal Code also provides punishment for the offence of utilization of children for begging. The term ‘begging’ as defined in sub-section (4) of this section means:—

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(i) Soliciting or receiving alms in a public place, whether under the pretence of singing, dancing, fortune-telling, performing tricks or selling articles or otherwise;

(ii) Entering on any private premises for the purpose of soliciting or receiving alms;

(iii) Exposing or exhibiting, with the object of obtaining or extracting alms, any sore wound, injury, deformity or disease, whether of himself or of any other person or of an animal;

(iv) Using a minor as an exhibit for the purpose of soliciting or receiving alms.