Court admonishes woman for begging, sets her free

New Delhi: A woman, sentenced to a year of detention in a remand home for begging with her one-year-old daughter, has been set free by a court after admonition. Rajasthan native Neema was let off on a bond of Rs 200 and on the undertaking that she will not beg again. Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Ajay Kumar Jain let her off saying that she had been in the beggars` home since March 20, 2012 and that is a "sufficient period" to make her "learn a lesson".

"The purpose of keeping a beggar out of the society has been duly served to large extent. Therefore, I deem it fit that sentence of imprisonment by way of detention in the certified institution be modified," the ASJ said. "The appellant is duly admonished for the act of begging and it is directed that on the release of appellant from the detention in the certified institution, appellant will furnish bond in a sum of Rs 200 within one week and an undertaking that she will not engage herself in the similar activity in future," he added.

Neema was arrested by the police on March 20 from Kasturba Gandhi Marg. On the same day, she was sentenced to detention for a year in a certified institution under the Bombay Prevention of Beggary Act by a magisterial court. The police had told the court that 47 rupees, received by her as alms from the passerby were recovered from her. Neema had moved the sessions court challenging the order of the magistrate. She had sought lenient punishment saying she was uneducated and has a mother, two brothers and three daughters to look after.