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अदालत से सजा पाने पर एक रुपये प्रति दिन का दंड !

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उत्तर-प्रदेश कैडर के आईपीएस ऑफिसर अमिताभ ठाकूर ने प्रधान मंत्री तथा विधि मंत्री को पत्र लिख कर एक बहुत पुराने अधिनियम, सराय एक्ट-1867 के सम्बन्ध में कतिपय सुझाव प्रस्तावित किये हैं. यह एक्ट सार्वजनिक सरायों पर आवश्यक नियंत्रण रखे जाने हेतु बनाया गया था. यहाँ सराय से अर्थ उस भवन से माना गया है जहाँ यात्रियों को रुकने की व्यवस्था होती है.

अमिताभ ठाकूर के मुताबिक इस एक्ट की धारा 4 के अनुसार प्रत्येक सराय और इसके मालिक का नाम व पता जिला मैजिस्ट्रेट के पास पंजीकृत किया जाना चाहिए. यह प्रावधान आज भी आतंरिक सुरक्षा की दृष्टि से अत्यंत उपयोगी है. इस एक्ट में सराय का अर्थ यात्रियों के रुकने के स्थान से माना तो गया है पर “यात्री” शब्द परिभाषित नहीं किया गया है. अतः अमिताभ ठाकूर ने सुझाव दिया है कि यात्री शब्द में अन्य लोगों के साथ प्राइवेट हॉस्टल के रहने वाले और पेइंग गेस्ट को शामिल करते हुए इसे परिभाषित कर दिया जाये क्योंकि आज लगभग प्रत्येक बड़े शहर में हज़ारों लोग पेइंग गेस्ट और प्राइवेट हॉस्टलर के रूप में रह रहे हैं.

आगे इस पत्र में अमिताभ ठाकूर ने लिखा है कि इस एक्ट की धारा 14 में इस एक्ट अथवा इससे संबद्ध नियमों का उल्लंघन करने पर दोषी पाए जाने पर बीस रुपये की सज़ा और इसके बाद प्रत्येक दिन के हिसाब से एक रुपये की सजा का प्रावधान है. 1867 में तो इतनी सजा का मतलब होता होगा पर आज यह सज़ा बेमानी हो गयी है.

इस पत्र में अमिताभ ठाकूर ने यह भी निवेदन किया है कि आज पैसे के मूल्य को ध्यान में रखते हुए इस एक्ट में दी की जाने वाली सजा में उचित संशोधन कराये जाने के सम्बन्ध में विचार किया जाना उचित होगा.

अमिताभ ठाकूर द्वारा प्रधान मंत्री तथा विधि मंत्री को भेजे गए पत्र  को आप यहां भी पढ़ सकते हैं

The Hon’ble Prime Minister
Government of India,
New Delhi

Subject- Regarding requisite changes in the Sarai Act 1867

Respected Sir,

The petitioner Amitabh Thakur, address- 5/426, Viram Khand, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow-226010, phone number- 94155-34526 is a Government servant by profession (an officer of the Indian Police Service, UP Cadre) but he is presenting this letter in his individual capacity as a concerned citizen of this Nation.

It is about a very old Act known as the Sarai Act 1867. The Act was promulgated to provide for the regulation of public Sarais and Puraos. “Sarai” has been defined here to mean any building used for the shelter and accommodation of travelers, and includes, in any case in which only part of a building is used as a sarai, the part so used of such building.

This Act is a very useful piece of legislature because it needs every Sarai and the name and residence of the keeper to be registered with the District Magistrate. The need for such an Act in present day situation can be underrated only at a great cost of the internal security and such an Act helps the District Administration to keep itself aware about the various travelers in a city.

There are a few provisions of this Act that seem to need an immediate attention on the part of the Government of India so as to suitably amend them as per the needs of the hour-

1.    While Sarai means a shelter for travelers, the word traveler has not specifically defined in this Act. In today’s time, other than the daily travelers another set of people seem to have emerged in large numbers. They are the paying guests and private hostellers. Hundreds of private hostels and paying guest accommodation are sprouting and flourishing in every city. Hence, there seems to be a great need to adequately define the word “traveler” in the Sarai Act to include among other things, those staying in private hostels and the paying guests.

2.    Similarly section 14 in this Act is regarding penalty for infringing Act or regulations. It says that if the keeper of a sarai offend against any of the provisions of this Act or any of the regulations made in pursuance of this Act, he shall for every such offence be liable on conviction before any Magistrate to a penalty not exceeding twenty rupees, and to a further penalty not exceeding one rupee a day for every day during which the offence continues.

We all agree that a penalty of Rs. 20 after getting convicted for such a serious offence seems to be abysmally low. If I am allowed to use an appropriate phrase, it comes as being a “mockery of the legal process.” Similarly, an extra penalty of Rs. One per day seems to be equally insufficient.

In the light of the above facts, I humbly make the following prayers-

1.       The Government may decide to define the word “traveler” in the Sarai Act 1867 to include private hostellers and the paying guests

2.       The penalty is raised to sufficient level keeping in mind the present monetary value of money vis-a-vis what is was when the Act was originally passed in the year 1867

and get the Act suitably amended in the Parliament.


(Amitabh Thakur)
5/426, Viram Khand,
Gomti Nagar,

Copy to- The Hon’ble Minister for Law and Justice, Government of India for kind consideration and necessary action please


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