The law has long hands - and a long life

Excerpts from an article by Bibek Debroy in India Today (May 11, 2009):-

"There is a Sarais Act of 1867. Under this, a "sarai" has to offer passers-by free drinks of water and a Delhi five-star hotel was harassed, though not prosecuted, because it didn't do this."

Wow! I'm going to walk into the Oberoi and demand free water next time I'm in Nariman Point, citing this law!

"Let's assume you are a male, more than 14 and live in Delhi. Do you know the collector can requisition your services to destroy locusts and if you refuse, you can be fined Rs 50 imprisoned for 10 days? You will know locusts have arrived because there will be a beating of drums. This is by virtue of the 1949 East Punjab Agricultural Pests, Diseases and Noxious Weeds Act, applicable to Delhi."

Ah-ha! Wait till I become collector of Delhi. What a good way to put the boys of Delhi to good work!

"Rules under 1948 Factories Act insist on earthen pots for drinking water and don't accept water coolers as substitutes. You may have fire extinguishers but rules stipulate red-painted buckets with water and sand."

Didn't anyone tell quarry owners about this?

Oh, for more crazy laws like this. For a country with a rich heritage of humour, why let the law lag behind?


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