VAGRANCY ORDINANCE, 1958
(W.P. Ordinance XX of 1958)
1. Short title, extent
3. Welfare homes.
5. Duties of the
6. Voluntary admission
to welfare homes.
7. Powers of police
officer to arrest and search vagrants and seize things liable to
9. Sentence for
10. Punishment for
employing or causing persons to ask for alms.
12. Detention of
contribution by persons bound to maintain vagrants.
14. Place of detention
15. Transfer of vagrants
from welfare homes.
16. Release on probation
or short leave.
17. Powers of discharge
of vagrants from welfare homes.
18. Effect of other laws
19. Cognizance and bail.
22. Persons to be deemed
to be public servants.
24. Articles liable to
25. Power to make rules.
VAGRANCY ORDINANCE, 1958
(W.P. Ordinance XX of
An Ordinance to amend and consolidate
the law relating to vagrancy in the Province of
WHEREAS it is expedient to amend and consolidate the law relating to
vagrancy in the Province of the [Punjab]
in the manner hereinafter appearing;
AND, WHEREAS, the Provincial Assembly of
West Pakistan is not in session and the Governor of West Pakistan is
satisfied that circumstances exist which render immediate action necessary;
NOW, THEREFORE, in exercise of the
powers conferred by Article 102 of the Constitution, the Governor of West
Pakistan is pleased to make and promulgate the following Ordinance:-
1. Short title, extent and
commencement.— (1) This Ordinance may be called
Vagrancy Ordinance, 1958.
[(2) It extends to the
whole of the Province of the [Punjab]
except the Tribal Areas.]
(3) It shall come into force in such
area or areas and on such date or dates as Government may, by notification,
2. Definitions.— In this Ordinance,
unless the context otherwise requires, the following expressions shall have
the meanings hereby respectively assigned to them, that is to say—
(a) “child” means a person under
the age of fourteen years;
(b) “Controller” means the
Controller of Vagrancy, [Punjab];
(c) “Government” means the
Government of the Punjab];
“guardian” in relation to a child, includes any person who in the opinion of
the court having cognizance of any case in which a child is concerned, has
for the time being the charge of or control over such child;
(e) “prescribed” means
prescribed by rules made under this Ordinance;
(f) “public place” includes any
public park, garden, railway station, ground or vehicle to which the public
for the time being have access, whether on payment or otherwise;
(g) “vagrant” means a person
(i) solicits or
receives alms in a public place;
(ii) exposes or
exhibits any sore, wound, injury, deformity or disease in a public place for
the purpose of soliciting or receiving alms;
(iii) allows himself
to be used as an exhibit for the purpose of soliciting or receiving alms;
(iv) enters on any private premises without the
invitation of the occupier for the purpose of soliciting or receiving alms;
but does not include a person who solicits or
receives money, food or gift for a purpose authorised by rules under a
“welfare home” means an institution established and maintained by Government
for the detention, training, employment and maintenance of vagrants and
their dependents other than those who are lepers, lunatics or suffering from
contagious diseases and includes an institution notified by Government as
such for the purposes of this Ordinance.
3. Welfare homes.— (1) Government
shall establish and maintain one or more welfare homes at such place or
places as it thinks fit for the custody and detention of vagrants.
(2) Government may, by notification,
declare any existing charitable or other institution with previous consent
of the controlling authority of such institution and on such conditions as
may be mutually agreed upon between Government and the said authority, to be
a welfare home for the purposes of this Ordinance.
Manager.— Every welfare home shall be under the immediate charge of a manager
appointed by Government and such manager shall be assisted by such medical
and educational staff as Government may appoint.
5. Duties of the manager.— (1) The
manager of a welfare home shall, as soon as may be, get every vagrant
medically examined and the report of the examination shall state, inter
(a) the sex and the age of the
(b) whether the vagrant is a
(c) whether he is suffering from
any other contagious disease?
(d) whether the vagrant is
insane, or mentally deficient?
(e) what is the general state of
health and bodily condition of the vagrant and for which, if any, of the
prescribed types of work such vagrant is fit?
(2) The manager of a welfare home shall
keep the following classes of vagrants separately from each other—
(c) lepers or persons
suffering from contagious diseases;
(e) infirm, old or
(f) able bodied:
Provided that children less than seven
years of age or females may be allowed to take up residence in the same
apartment in which any male member of their family is confined.
(3) The manager shall arrange—
(a) for the education of the children detained in the welfare home;
(b) for such instruction
of the vagrants, as may rehabilitate them in useful trades and make them
6. Voluntary admission to welfare homes.—
Any old, infirm or disabled person or a child may present himself before the
Officer, Social Welfare] for being admitted to a welfare home and if the
Officer, Social Welfare] is satisfied that such person has no source of
livelihood, he may be detained in a welfare home till such time as such
person becomes possessed of means of livelihood or applies for his release
7. Powers of police officer to arrest and
search vagrants and seize things liable to confiscation.— (1) Any police
officer may without an order from a magistrate and without a warrant, arrest
and search any person who appears to him to be a vagrant and may seize
anything found on or about such person which he has reason to believe to be
liable to confiscation under this Ordinance.
(2) A person arrested under the last
preceding sub-section, shall be released if he furnishes bail to the
satisfaction of the police officer making arrest for his appearance before
the magistrate having jurisdiction in the area where the arrest is made.
(3) If the person arrested is not able
to furnish bail to the satisfaction of the police officer making arrest,
such person shall be detained in custody and shall be produced before the
nearest magistrate within a period of twenty-four hours of such arrest,
excluding the time necessary for the journey from the place of arrest to the
Court of the magistrate and no such person shall be detained in custody
beyond the said period without an authority of the magistrate.
Trial.— When the person arrested under the last preceding section appears or is
brought before the magistrate, he shall be tried in accordance with the
procedure prescribed for the trial of summons cases under Chapter XX of the
Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (V of 1898):
Provided that whenever any magistrate,
after having heard and recorded the whole or any part of the evidence in a
trial, ceases to exercise jurisdiction therein, and is succeeded by another
magistrate, who has and who exercises such jurisdiction, the magistrate so
succeeding may act on the evidence so recorded by his predecessor or partly
recorded by his predecessor and partly recorded by himself, or he may
resummon the witnesses and recommence the enquiry or trial.
9. Sentence for vagrancy.— If the
magistrate finds that a person is a vagrant, such person shall be punished
with imprisonment of either description for a period not exceeding three
Provided that in any case in which a
person who has not been previously convicted of an offence under this
Ordinance, is convicted of an offence under this Ordinance, the magistrate
may instead of sentencing him to a term of imprisonment, release him after
due admonition on his, or in case such vagrant is a child, on his guardian
entering into a bond with or without sureties to appear and receive the
sentence when called upon during such period (not exceeding three years) as
the magistrate may direct and in the meantime to refrain from conducting
himself as a vagrant.
10. Punishment for employing or causing
persons to ask for alms.— Whoever employs or causes any person to
solicit or receive alms or uses a person as an exhibit for the purpose of
soliciting or receiving alms or being the guardian of a child connives at or
encourages the employment or the causing of the child to solicit or receive
alms shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term
which may extend to one year or with fine or with both.
11. Presumption.— If a person has no
ostensible source of subsistence and wanders about or remains in a public
place in such condition or manner as raises a reasonable suspicion that he
is there to solicit or receive alms, it shall be presumed, unless the
contrary is proved that such person is a vagrant.
Detention of dependents.— (1)
If any vagrant sentenced under section 9 to a term of imprisonment has a
child below seven years of age or any other person wholly dependent upon
him, the magistrate may, after making such inquiry as he thinks fit and
after giving such person an opportunity of being heard, direct that such
child or person shall be detained in the welfare home so long as the vagrant
remains in custody:
Provided that a child of the vagrant who
is below the age of seven years shall be detained alongwith the vagrant
until he attains the age of seven years.
(2) Where the dependent is a child
above seven years of age, or when the child detained under the last
preceding sub-section, attains the age of seven years, the magistrate or any
other officer empowered by Government in this behalf may direct that such
child be detained in any other institution approved by Government.
Compulsory contribution by persons bound to maintain vagrants.—
(1) If the magistrate is satisfied that a vagrant or a person bound to
maintain a vagrant has sufficient means, he shall make an order directing
such vagrant or the person bound to maintain such vagrant, as the case may
be, to contribute in the prescribed manner towards the maintenance of such
vagrant in a welfare home:
Provided that no order under this
sub-section shall be made without giving the person from whom contribution
is required the opportunity of being heard.
(2) If any contribution directed by the
magistrate under the last preceding sub-section remains unpaid, the same may
be recovered as arrears of land revenue.
14. Place of detention or imprisonment.—
A vagrant arrested under this Ordinance shall remain in custody, or, if
convicted serve his term of imprisonment in the prescribed manner, as the
case may be, in the nearest welfare home or such other place as Government
may by general or special order, direct.
15. Transfer of vagrants from welfare
homes.— The Controller or any other officer specially empowered by
Government in this behalf may by an order in writing direct the transfer of
a vagrant from one welfare home to another or to any other place appointed
by Government in this behalf.
16. Release on probation or short leave.—
The Controller or other officer specially empowered by Government in this
behalf may, subject to such conditions as may be prescribed,—
(a) release any vagrant on
probation after he has served imprisonment for a period not less than one
(b) release a vagrant detained
in a welfare home by granting him a licence and, after the expiration of
three months from the commencement of the release on licence, recommend to
Government the unconditional release of such vagrant if he considers that
there is probability of such vagrant’s abstaining from vagrancy;
(c) grant short leave of
absence to any vagrant detained in a welfare home
[* * *]:
Provided that a vagrant contravening any
condition relating to his release on licence may be re-arrested under the
orders of the Controller and sent to the welfare home for completing the
sentence awarded to him under section 9.
17. Powers of discharge of vagrants from
welfare homes.— The Controller or any other officer specially empowered
by Government in this behalf may discharge a vagrant from a welfare home—
(a) if he is satisfied that a
vagrant has become possessed of an income sufficient to enable him to
support himself without resorting to vagrancy;
(b) if a relative of such
vagrant, or a person interested in the welfare of the vagrant, enters into a
bond with or without sureties to look after and maintain such vagrant and to
prevent him from resorting to vagrancy;
(c) on the certificate of the
manager of the welfare home that satisfactory employment has been obtained
for such vagrant;
for any other good and sufficient reason to be recorded in writing.
18. Effect of other laws and enactments.—
The provisions of this Ordinance, and any order made or action taken under
this Ordinance, shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent
therewith contained in any enactment other than this Ordinance, for the time
being in force, and any instrument having its effect by virtue of any such
enactment other than this Ordinance.
19. Cognizance and bail.— All
offences under this Ordinance shall be cognizable and bailable.
20. Jurisdiction.— No offence under
this Ordinance shall be triable by any magistrate other than a magistrate of
the first class.
Any person aggrieved by an order of a magistrate under this Ordinance may
within thirty days of such order appeal to the
[* * *] Sessions
22. Persons to be deemed to be public
servants.— All persons empowered to perform any function under this
Ordinance shall be deemed to be public servants within the meaning of
section 21 of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860.
23. Indemnity.— No suit, prosecution,
or other legal proceeding shall lie against any person for anything in good
faith done or intended to be done under this Ordinance.
24. Articles liable to confiscation.—
All things and money found on or about a vagrant except the necessary
wearing apparel shall be liable to confiscation to Government under this
25. Power to make rules.— (1)
Government may make rules for carrying out the purposes of this Ordinance.
(2) In particular and without prejudice
to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may provide for all or
any of the following matters, namely:-
(a) the purposes for which
a person may solicit or receive money or ask for food or gift referred to in
clause (g) of section 2 and the form of the certificate;
(b) the manner in which Controller shall discharge his functions;
(c) the manner in which a medical officer may examine a vagrant;
(d) the types of works for
which a vagrant may be reported fit;
(e) the types of the hard labour which is to form the punishment;
(f) the manner in which an
imprisonment under this Ordinance may be served;
(g) the manner in which a vagrant
may be transferred from one welfare home to another or to any other place of
(h) the manner in which the manager of a welfare
home is to certify that satisfactory employment has been obtained for a
(i) the place or
institutions where children detained under this Ordinance are to be
(j) the places or
institutions where lepers, lunatics and persons suffering from contagious
diseases may be confined.
(3) Every rule under this Ordinance shall be laid before the
Assembly] and may be amended or repealed by a resolution of the said
The Sind Vagrancy Act, 1947,
is hereby repealed.