Anti-spitting law stuck over collection of fine

Panduranga Mhaske
Sunday, 4 February 2018

Mumbai: In a bid to keep the city streets clean, the State government prepared an anti-spitting law, but due to lack of clarity on collecting the fine, it is not getting approval from the concerned department. 

According to the proposal, spitting in public places is defined as an offence. If you spit on the streets, you will be fined Rs 1,000 or will have to spend a day performing community service at a public office or a government office.

Mumbai: In a bid to keep the city streets clean, the State government prepared an anti-spitting law, but due to lack of clarity on collecting the fine, it is not getting approval from the concerned department. 

According to the proposal, spitting in public places is defined as an offence. If you spit on the streets, you will be fined Rs 1,000 or will have to spend a day performing community service at a public office or a government office.

However, this is for first-time offenders while the punishment and fine is higher for repeat offenders. For a second-time offender, the fine will be Rs 3,000 plus three-day community service and for repeat offenders, the fine will be Rs 5,000 plus five-day community service.

Deepak Sawant, State Public Health Minister, said, “Collecting fine is not the aim of the law, but the punishment, which would shame the offenders and hurt their ego. Simply paying a penalty is not enough deterrent. Offenders pay the paltry amount and often don’t think twice before repeating the act. So, we decided to bring in compulsory community service.”

A law against spitting in public places is already in existence and in Mumbai, the BMC acts against people who spit in public. But it is not that effective, as the ‘Clean-up Marshals’ appointed by the BMC work in selective areas.

Even after finalising the law, there is ambiguity as to who will collect the fine. There is no uniform agency to collect the fine for spitting.

Sawant said that he had suggested that the local agency, where the offence occurred, would collect the fine and the fine amount will be used for public purpose. “For instance, if anyone spits in an hospital, then we will allow the hospital to collect the fine or ask the offender to perform community service in the same hospital. The fine amount will be used for the public purpose within the hospital,” said Sawant. 

According to sources, now the issue is stuck with the planning department as to who will collect the fine if levied on the offenders. 

Maharashtra will become the first state in India to get an anti-spitting law if the ambiguity is cleared by the planning department. 

Waiting for approval
 Even after finalising the law, there is ambiguity as to who will collect the fine. There is no uniform agency to collect the fine for spitting. 
 According to sources, now the issue is stuck with the planning department as to who will collect the fine if levied on the offenders. 

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