A lot of people believe themselves to be honest citizens as they do not kill or steal. But little do they know, they break the law many times, either due to ignorance or from lack of concern.
Smoking in public – Smoking in a public place is illegal in India as per the Cigarette and other tobacco products act, 2003 (COTPA). FAQ – What is a “public place” according to the act? It refers to any location with open access to the public, like railway stations, open auditoriums, and bus stops, but doesn’t include any open spaces such as open market places, parks, or parking areas.
Public display of affection (PDA): Public display of offences (PDA) is a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment for up to 3 months or a fine, or both. The law in this context doesn’t directly mention the term PDA, but it states that doing obscene acts in public is illegal. So, it leaves a lot of scope for its misuse, which is done by the police to harass the couples. ( section 294 IPC)
Flying Kites – In India, you can be jailed for 2 years if you are flying an aircraft in a manner that causes a danger to any person or property. An aircraft, as per the Aircraft Act of 1934, is “any machine which can derive support in the atmosphere from reactions in the air”. So it incorporates “balloons, airships, kites, gliders and flying machines”. As a result, if someone injures someone while flying kites, they may be penalised under Section 11 of the Act.
Playing Loud Music – Playing loud music, even in your own house, is a violation of article 21 if it creates a nuisance for the neighbours. Article 21 of the constitution includes under its purview the right to live peacefully and the right to a decent environment.
Connecting to Wi-Fi without permission/consent: Using a neighbour’s Wi-Fi without their permission is illegal, and the person doing it is liable to pay compensation to the person so affected. (section 43 of the IT Act)
Downloading your favourite music and movies– Copyright Act, 1957, states that reproduction of a material in a physical form or its storage in any form by electronic means would come under the purview of copyright infringement.
FAQ- What types of works are included in the Copyright Act?
- Original works of literature, drama, music, and art; cinematograph films
- Recordings of sound
Playing of Music by Restaurants or DJs: If you are a restaurant owner or a DJ, you can’t play music in your restaurant or at your show without the permission of the singer. After recording of the song is done by the singer, every single individual needs to pay royalties and obtain permission from the producer/copyright holder to play or perform the particular song. (Sec. 38, Copyright Act)
Verbal abuse – Using foul and filthy language in public can land you in jail in India as per section 294 of the IPC. The Bombay High Court has also stated in a landmark judgement that using abusive language or using abusive language to offend someone can be a crime, even if it is not done in a public place.
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