Begging is defined in The Bombay Prevention of Begging Act, 1959, as: “(a) soliciting or receiving alms, in a public place whether or not under any pretence such as singing, dancing, fortune telling, performing or offering any article for sale; (b) entering on any private premises for the purpose of soliciting or receiving alms; (c) exposing or exhibiting, with the object of obtaining or extorting alms, any sore, injury, deformity of diseases whether of a human being or animal; (d) having no visible means of subsistence and wandering about or remaining in any public place in such condition or manner, as makes it likely that the person doing so exists by soliciting or receiving alms; (e) allowing oneself to be used as an exhibit for the purpose of soliciting or receiving alms.”
Kidnapping or maiming a minor for begging is an offence under Section 363A, IPC. It also defines begging and qualifies who is a minor.
Although there is no central legislation on begging, many states and Union Territories have either enacted anti-beggary laws or adopted laws passed by other states. However, they are also responsible for taking preventive measures against begging and ensuring that beggars are rehabilitated.