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HOW DO PEOPLE BREAK THE LAW WITHOUT EVEN KNOWING IT?

Ignorance of law is not an excuse

Many people think that they follow all the rules and regulations and not break any laws. Sometimes people break the law which they ever intended to do, yet at times people might not be aware that they are doing something which is prohibited in the eyes of law. They have no clue about the thing they are doing is a risky activity rarely mentioned in the rules and regulations and unaware that it is illegal. Below are some commonly broken laws by people in their daily life.


Here are a few common laws that you might not have thought about previously

Unauthorised Wi-Fi network

“Wi-Fi” generally refers to a router device that allows other devices to connect to the Internet through wireless network technology. Always secure your Wi-Fi with a strong password and keep an eye on your network for unauthorized access.

If you have accessed the network without authorization this would be considered as offence and governed by IPC act 1860[1] which is to be read along with the IT act 2000[2], IT Act was established to give legal recognition to any transaction which is done by electronic way or use of the internet, to stop computer crime and protect privacy of internet users. In India, Kerala was the first state to declare the Right to internet a basic human rights[3].


Pranks

Pranks are always considered as illegal, whether the prank goes right or wrong, it may result in legal trouble for the people who initiate or actively participate in the prank. It may be taken into consideration harassment or disorderly behaviour with threatening remarks.


Flying a kite

Many children love to fly a kite during the month of January during the time of Makar Sankranti and flying a kite makes people happier. However, it is illegal to fly a kite without any proper authority permission in India. As per the Indian Aircraft Act, 1934 anyone who wants to fly a kite needs a permit and according to the Aircraft Act, an aircraft is any machine or device which is supported by atmospheric pressure. This includes fixed and free balloons, gliders, kites, airships, and flying machines. Section 11[4] of the act allows for perpetrators to be imprisoned for two years, pay a fine of ten lakh rupees or face prison and a fine.


Here are the laws people knew about it but still exploit

Littering

Litter is nothing but a piece of waste that has been disposed improperly at the wrong place. Littering simply means throwing away objects on the ground or leaving them lying on the ground instead of disposing of them at the right place.

Littering is quite common in India and it is something that all of us have done sometime or the other. According to section 278 of Indian penal code[5] says that making the atmosphere noxious to the health of persons or carrying on business in the neighbourhood or passing in public places and person who found littering a public place in India shall be punishable with fine which may extend to 500 rupees.


Spitting in public places

Spitting in public is a common sight that may be visible on Indian roads, especially with the aid of using folks who bite tobacco or betel leaf. Spitting was already unlawful under municipal law in most cities; the Covid-19 pandemic has pressured the Union Home Ministry to make spitting a punishable offence under the strict Disaster Management Act.

According to the Disaster Management Act[6] under section 51 (b) says that spitting in public places may result in imprisonment up to a year or fine or both.


Gambling

Gambling is also known as betting or gaming or an activity based on luck not on any skills to win any amount of money or any other prize. To control gambling the government passed a legislation in 1867 that is Public Gambling Act and it is important to control gambling in the country.

As per Section 12 of the Public Gaming Act[7] 1867, any game of mere skill will not be treated as gambling, but games of chances will be treated as gambling. The penalty for breach of this law is a fine of Rs. 200 or imprisonment of up to 3 months. Additionally, this Act prohibits visiting gambling houses. A fine of Rs.100 or imprisonment of up to one month is the penalty.

Dominance Games Pvt. Ltd. V. State of Gujarat & Ors in 2017[8]The Gujarat court held that poker is a game of chance and accordingly poker games and conducting the poker games falls within the prohibitions under the Gujarat Gambling Legislation.


Noise disturbance

People play loud music and make noises during parties and marriages in India without even thinking that it affects others in the society. According to article 21 of the Indian constitution[9] Everyone has a right to a peaceful life, the right to enjoy, the right to sleep which is essential for the right to life.

According to section 15(1) of the Environment Protection Act[10] says that anyone who plays loud music during night especially during the time between 10pm to 6am by making noises could be punished with a fine of 1 lakh rupees.

At last, here are the laws where everyone knows about it, but still people violate these laws more often.


Violating Traffic Rules

People violate traffic rules more often than violating any other laws by way of signal jumping, by overspeed, by not wearing helmets, by not wearing a seatbelt or driving while talking over the phone are the common violations in many places. It is a safety measure that everyone needs to take care of while driving.

According to central Motor Vehicle Act,1989[11] under section 119 talks about violators of traffic laws and section 177 deals with the No Parking offences and sub rule (1A) of rule 125 for wearing seat belts.


Drinking below the age limit

Alcohol is a largely consumed substance in any country. In our country, the sales of liquor do not fall but keep on rising with time. The laws related to alcohol vary from one state to another and at same time the variation in legal drinking age. So, it depends on state to state, legal age for some states is 18 years, somewhere 21 years and somewhere 25 years old. If you see in Maharashtra the government has fixed 18 years for buying and 25 years for alcohol consumption.


Conclusion

At one point or another, we’ve all accidentally broken a rule at work without realizing it. However, it’s important to be on the safe side and double-check before doing anything. Piracy is another common law that we often break in India. If people are not taking it seriously, the internet can be a dangerous place.


-- [1]Indian penal code, 1860, sec 378 & 424 [2]Information Technology Act, 2000, sec 43 & 66 [3]Faheema Shirin RK vs. State of Kerala and others; AIR2020 Ker35 [4]Indian Aircraft Act, 1934, sec11 [5] Indian Penal Code,1860, sec 278 [6] Disaster Management Act, 2005, sec 51(b) [7] Public Gambling Act, 1867, sec 12 [8] Dominance Games Pvt Ltd v. State of Gujarat & Ors, 2017, C/SCA/6903/2017 [9] Constitution of India, 1950, art 21 [10] Environment Protection Act, 1986, sec 15(1) [11] Motor Vehicles Act,1989, sec 119 & 177



This article is written by Rahul Paruchuri of Ramaiah College of Law.

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