The Unknown Legislation : Indian Sarais Act, 1887

Is it possible to Go to Toilet and Drink free water in a Five start hotel? I Will say YES. Read the article in full to know how.

India still has numerous legislation which were made at the social times and the legislation has words similar as Your Majesty and East India Company. One of similar legislation is the Indian Sarais Act, 1887.

The main object of the Act, was to give for regulation of Sarais, or structures used in the Mofussil for sanctum and accommodation of trippers. According to the Act, Sarai means, “ any structure used for the sanctum and accommodation of trippers, and includes, in any case in which only part of a structure is used as a sarai, the part so used of similar structure.” The Act also defines Keeper of Sarai that “ includes the proprietor and any person having or Acting in the care or operation thereof.” Due to its wide description the Act has come to include all types of lodging houses like Paying Guests, Caravansaries, and Hospices in recent times. The Act is modelled after certain sections of the English Common Lodging Houses Act, 1853, which regulated functioning of similar establishments. Still, this Common Lodging Houses Act, 1853 proved to be ineffective and hence was consolidated with Public Health Acts of 1874.

To regulate and maintain the working conditions of the auberges at that time, the Act was passed in 1867, keeping in mind the essential conditions of trippers and possessors at that time. Still, after further than 150 times, there are bound to be some vittles of the Act, which don’t stand the test of time. Section 14 of the Act provides penalty of Rs 20, which because of affectation doesn’t have the same value as there has been a sharp increase in the consumer price indicator in India. In 1971, it was4.7, which increased to 153 in 2016. Also, duties in Section 7 conform to a limited compass of exertion and simply relates to the social working of the Sarai at that time, which makes the provision limited in certain areas. It fails to fete other essential aspects, which relates to the functioning of the hospices and lodging houses like food and what onus should the proprietor have when it’s furnishing food and potables. The act fails to give any safety measures in case of any accident involving cattle or any other disaster. The act also fails to take into its dimension the technological advancements. For illustration, Section 41 of Bombay Shop and Establishment Act, 1948 takes into account the need for proper lighting, which the Act, fails to realise. Hence, given the present status quo it’s consummate to check the applicability of similar obsolete laws are scanned from time to time.

The Sarais Act, 1867 The Act enjoined upon a keeper of Sarai or an auberge to keep a certain quality of water fit for consumption by “ persons and use of it by the creatures” to the satisfaction of the District justice or his appointees.

The Sarais Act 1867 needed Sarais ( lodges) to give free drinking water for persons and for creatures too and restroom installations to the public. Infact If you get ill while living at a hostel in India, the establishment has to report it to a police station under the Sarais Act. The bonifaces are also needed to “ remove all noxoius foliage on or near the Sarai (Hotel), and all trees and branches of tree able of swinging to stealers means of entering or leaving the demesne”.

This Act is also used to kill hostel possessors, as indicated by recent news reports. For case, a hostel in Delhi was wearied because it didn’t offer free drinking water to passers-by, as needed under the Sarais Act. Farther People visiting Gateway of India wanted to use the restroom of the near five- star hostel. When the hostel raised expostulations, a PIL was filed and the hostel eventually had to make a public restroom outside.

According to the 248th Law Commission report, there are 72 bills that should be repealed, as they’re outdated or there exists new regulations governing the same, the present Act, being one of them.

Tourism and hospitality assiduity is nearly connected. Excursionists need hospices to accommodate themselves and hostel’s source of profit comes from excursionists. And India, with its different and rich heritage has a distinct advantage in the tourism assiduity. In this script India needs new and updated laws to regulate hospices and accommodation to meet the transnational norms. The laws under Sarai Act doesn’t match the terrain of 21st Century and a comprehensive law is needed.

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