As we gear up for the New Year, here is a list of laws that you may want to keep in mind before you get the party started:
If you’re throwing a New Year party, remember that Noise limit in residential areas is:
|Limits in dB(A) Leq* (Day Time from 6.00 am. to 10.00 p.m)
||Limits in dB(A) Leq* (Night Time from (10.00 p.m. to 6.00 a.m)
If you exceed the noise limit by 10dB(A) and someone complains about it, the police can take action against you.
To file a complaint against Noise Pollution:
If the noise from your neighbour’s party has gotten out of hand, you can file a complaint against them.
If you want to file a Noise Pollution complaint, you can complain to the nearest police station, call 100 or file an online complaint with your State’s police complaint portal if you want to prevent noise pollution. The officer in charge of the police station, police commissioner or any officer (not below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police) can take action by:
- Seizing equipment,
- Stopping the use of a microphone or loudspeaker, etc.
The police have to take action wherever the decibel level exceeds 10dB of the prescribed limit.
- Possession of drugs:
Stay wary of peer pressure and don’t resort to illegal substance abuse. Read on to know what the Indian law has to say with regards to drugs:
The production, manufacture, possession, sale, purchase, transport, inter-state import/export, and the use of Ganja is banned in India. The punishment for carrying out any of these activities is proportional to the quantity of Ganja involved and not the type of activity.
- Small amount (up to 1 kg): Jail time up to 1 year, and/or fine up to Rs. 10,000.
- Between 1 kg and 20 kgs: Jail time up to 10 years, and fine up to Rs. 1 lakh.
- Commercial amount (20 kg): jail time between 10 years and 20 years, and fine between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 2 lakh. The Court may also impose a fine exceeding Rs. 2 lakh by recording reasons in the judgement.
The production, manufacture, possession, sale, purchase, transport, inter-state import/export, and the use of Charas is banned in India. The punishment for carrying out any of these activities is proportional to the quantity of Charas involved and not the type of activity.
- Small amount (up to 100 grams): jail time up to one year, and/or fine up to Rs. 10,000.
- 100 grams – 1 kg: jail time up to ten years, and fine up to Rs. 1 lakh.
Commercial amount (1 kg): jail time between ten years and twenty years, and fine between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 2 lakh. The Court may also impose a fine exceeding Rs. 2 lakhs by recording reasons in the judgment.
Crimes committed in relation to drugs and substances are all cognisable in nature. This means that the police do not need a warrant from a Magistrate to make an arrest.
If the crime committed is for a small quantity or less than the commercial quantity of drugs or substances, you can apply for bail directly from the police and the same will be granted to you. It may be contingent on furnishing a personal or other bond.
Crimes committed for a commercial quantity of drugs or substances are considered non-bailable under law. This does not mean that you will not get bail. You can apply in court and the same will depend on the judge’s discretion. You cannot ask for it as a matter of right.
To read more about what the law says about possession of drugs and narcotics, you can read our explainer here.
The party may be cool, but underage smoking is not!
The legal age for smoking is 18 years. It is illegal for anyone to sell, in any way, cigarettes or any other tobacco products to anyone below 18 years of age, or within 100 yards of an educational institute.
While you’re out to get your New Year supplies, or celebrating New Year’s at a crowded place, look out for pickpockets!
Pick-pocketing refers to when someone steals items, like your wallet, phone, etc., out of your pocket, bag, etc., and snatching is when someone forcefully snatches away your items from you. Both of these acts are crimes1.
These acts are punishable with jail time of up to 3 years and/or a fine2. If you have experienced pick-pocketing or snatching, read here to understand the steps/options you can take to complain.
To read more about theft, you can refer to our explainer.
If you’re at a party and can’t seem to get away from that one person showing unwanted interest, rememberit may be a case of stalking.
If a person repeatedly follows, contacts or monitors someone despite their disinterest or lack of consent, it is known as stalking. Stalking is a term used for numerous activities done by a person, which when taken together can disrupt the life of the survivor. Under the law, only a man can be punished for the crime.
For example, if someone sends multiple WhatsApp messages hoping for a reply.
The punishment for online stalking is jail time up to three years along with a fine. For repeat offenders, the punishment is higher, i.e. up to five years jail time along with a fine.
New Year’s is a time of celebration and partying. You may be in high spirits and going around town, but remember not to drive under the influence of alcohol.
Section 185 in the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 considers drunk driving a criminal offence in India. According to the law, the punishment for a drinking and driving case can be imprisonment for six months and a fine of rupees two thousand. If an individual repeats the same crime within three years, the person is punished by imprisonment for up to two years and a fine of three thousand rupees.
Team Nyaaya wishes you a very Happy New Year!