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Current Affairs

Rajasthan’s bill to prevent misbehavior with tourists

Date: 21 September 2021 Tags: Bills & Laws

Issue

The Rajasthan Tourism Trade (Facilitation and Regulation) Act, 2010 was amended by a bill passed by the assembly of Rajasthan.

 

Background

The bill was said to curb misbehavior with tourists, which is a major source of income for the state. It will improve the tourism atmosphere in the state.

 

Details

  • The bill makes misbehavior against tourists as cognizable offence. The aim of the bill is against touts, who are the major culprits.

  • A new section 27-A is added in the 2010 Act by an amended bill known as Rajasthan Tourism Trade (Facilitation and Regulation) (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

 

The offences

  • Under section 13 of the act, certain activities such as begging, touting and hawking certain items near tourist destinations are classified as cognizable offence.

  • The subsection 13 and 14 of the act particularly focuses on habitual offenders. These subsections of the 2010 Act have been made cognizable and non-bailable.

 

Need for the bill

  • Touts are individuals who mislead tourists to shops where products are priced at exorbitant prices. They will make money as commission.

  • The tourism industry in Rajasthan is the key to its economy. There were 5.2 crore domestic and 16 lakh foreign tourists in 2019.

  • The earlier bill also resulted in arrest of touts and beggars by the police. They were easily let off by paying a small fine and returned back to their acts.

 

The order of High Court

  • The Rajasthan High Court was forced to quash FIRs against touts when they went to court against the police action of detaining them.

  • The court had said that sub-sections (1) and (2) of section 13 of the 2010 Act were not specifically said to be cognizable, prompting government to introduce the amendment.

 

The implications

After the order of HC, the police could not register FIR nor could take action against touts. They were let off after paying a fine and repeated offence could not be proved.