Out of the hundreds of laws that fly over our heads, here is a look at four laws that exist - and the imaginary ‘laws’ that don’t.

Myth of the no unmarried couples to bargaining on MRP 4 simple laws that you must knowIf Radha and Krishna wanted a hotel room, legally they can't be denied.
Features Laws Monday, May 22, 2017 - 11:14

‘Simple’ and Indian laws are not typically associated with each other. From our legislations to our court judgments, everything runs into pages and pages of text, written in the most complicated way possible. ‘May’ and ‘shall’ are two different words, and you must pore through to figure out exactly what a clause is saying, provided it’s not actually saying it…

But laws are for all people, even if they don’t have a fetish for complicated legal jargon.

And some everyday laws are things you must know.

Out of the hundreds of laws that fly over our heads, here is a look at four laws that exist - and the imaginary ‘laws’ that don’t -  that may just come in handy.

1. You can bargain on the MRP

Yes, yes, bargaining is not the most suave of habits. But the truth is we all bargain - with the fruit and vegetable sellers, with auto drivers, with street-side vendors…

Have you ever bargained at a retail store though? Guess what - you can.

The Maximum Retail Price is the highest price at which a product must be sold in retail, and is inclusive of all taxes. According to the Consumer Goods Act of 2006, retailers are not permitted to sell goods at a price above the MRP. The actual price of the product will be much lower than the MRP (10-15 per cent) and the retailer is allowed to sell the product at a price lower than the MRP.

This means that as consumers, you have the right to negotiate and buy goods at a price below the MRP. Get set, and bargain!

2. The myth of the ‘no unmarried couple’

Ever had to pretend like you and your partner are married to each other, just to get a hotel room? Or shell out extra while traveling with friends because ‘men and women can’t share a room’?

Here’s the thing: There’s no law in India that stops two consenting adults from sharing a room, whatever their gender. As long as you have a valid ID proof, no Indian Law permits hotels to deny you rooms because you are not married to your partner.

Read: No law prohibits unmarried couples from staying together, still hotels refuse

However, sometimes hotels don’t want to get in trouble with the moral brigade that goes around everywhere in the country, sometimes pulling couples out of rooms to beat them up for ‘public’ indecency.

Speaking of hotels, did you know that you can demand free water in all hotels restaurants, malls and theatres in Karnataka?

Read: Give clean drinking water for free, Bengaluru court orders cinemas, restaurants

3. No, ‘eve teasing’ is not harmless - and yes, it can put you in jail

This one is for all those who believe ‘nothing can be done’ about harassers on the streets - and for all those who go ahead and harass women because they believe there are no consequences.

Street sexual harassment - commonly known by that wonderful euphemism ‘eve teasing’ - is punishable by law. Under Sections 292 (showing ‘obscene’ images to a woman), 298 (A) and (B) (making obscene gestures or remarks), and 354 (outraging of modesty), men who sexually harass women can be punished - and the punishment, depending on the case and the court, goes from 3 months upto a year.

In addition to this, you can approach any police station to lodge an FIR regardless of the jurisdiction and the delay in filing it. You can also send your complaints via email if judgmental stares of policemen bother you.

And while the laws have been worded in a most unsatisfactory manner, (‘outraging’ of ‘modesty’, really?) we should remember to make use of them when needed.

4. Traffic laws that will save your day

There are days when you wake up on the wrong side of the bed and get stuck in a parking lot with a random person’s vehicle blocking your exit. If you’re feeling particularly vengeful, you can call the police and get the other person fined for Rs 100.

On a separate note, not wearing a helmet while riding can get you fined for Rs 100. While we do not recommend ever riding a bike without a helmet, if you are doing so for some reason and have been caught - make sure you get the receipt from the officer in return. It can save you from getting fined later that day for the same offence.

The receipt won’t save your head, mind you.

(Main image courtesy: WikimediaCommons/Wizzywiz)

Also Read: When a bike is the only option, do Bengaluru traffic laws ignore parents with young kids?


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