VAGRANTS ordinance

Arrangement of Sections

1. Short title.

2. Punishment of persons behaving riotously or disorderly in the public streets.

3. Persons who are deemed idle and disorderly persons.

4. Who are deemed to be rogues and vagabonds.

5. Who are deemed to be incorrigible rogues.

6. Incorrigible rogue may be required to give security for future good behaviour.

7. Soliciting and acts of indecency in public places.

8. Female offender may be committed to house of detention.

9. Punishment of certain classes of incorrigible rogues.

10. Detention of youthful bad characters.

11. Causing the seduction or prostitution or unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl.

12. Security by parent or guardian of girl.

13. Detention of girl in place of safety.

14. Disposal of court.

15. Control and maintenance of girl delivered into custody of any person or society by order of court.

16. Offences to be non-cognizable and bailable.

17. Search warrant.

18. Sanction of Attorney-General for prosecution.

19. Protection of peace officers and probation officers.

20. Officers neglecting their duty.

21. Persons obstructing officers.

22. Fines to be levied by distress. Informer's share.

23. No prosecution to be instituted after one month.

24. Sworn statement by person leaving Sri Lanka.

25. Interpretation.

4 of 1841,

7 of 1873,

7 of 1889,

17 of 1889,

19 of 1889,

12 of 1891,

3 of 1894,

3 of 1904,

21 of 1919,

3 of 1930,

51 of 1941,

20 of 1947,

2 of 1978.

AN ORDINANCE to amend and consolidate the law relating to Vagrants.

[Date of Commencement: 1st January, 1842]

1. Short title.

This Ordinance may be cited as the Vagrants Ordinance.

2. Punishment of persons behaving riotously or disorderly in the public streets1.

Every person behaving in a riotous or disorderly manner in any public street or highway shall be liable to a fine not exceeding five rupees:

Provided, nevertheless that, every person convicted four times of such conduct shall, for every subsequent offence, be punishable in the manner declared in the following section respecting idle and disorderly persons.

3. Persons who are deemed idle and disorderly persons1.

(1) —

(a) Every person being able to maintain himself by work or other means, but who shall wilfully refuse or neglect so to do, and shall wander abroad or place himself in any public place, street, highway, court, or passage to beg or gather alms, or cause, or procure, or encourage any of his family so to do, excepting priests and pilgrims in performance of their religious vows, not being mendicants of the description mentioned in the paragraph (d) of the next succeeding section;

(b) every common prostitute wandering in the public street or highway, or in any place of public resort, and behaving in a riotous or indecent manner;

(c) every person wandering abroad or lodging in any verandah, outhouse, shed, or unoccupied building, or in any cart, vehicle, or other receptacle, without leave of the owner thereof, and not having any visible means of subsistence, and not giving a good account of himself;

(d) every person, without leave of the owner, defacing the side of any house or building or wall by fixing any placard or notice, or by any indecent or insulting writing or drawing thereon;

(e) every person who in or upon any wharf, jetty, street, road, walk, passage, verandah, or other place situated within any proclaimed area and used by or accessible to the public, persistently and without lawful excuse follows, accosts, or addresses by words or signs any person against his will and to his annoyance,

shall be deemed an idle and disorderly person within the true intent and meaning of this Ordinance, and shall be liable upon the first conviction to be imprisoned, with or without hard labour, for any term not exceeding fourteen days, or to a fine not exceeding ten rupees.

(2) A police officer may arrest without a warrant every person deemed to be an idle and disorderly person.

(3) In this section, "proclaimed area” means any area declared by the Minister by Order published in the Gazette, to be a proclaimed area for the purposes of this section.

4. Who are deemed to be rogues and vagabonds1.

(a) Every person convicted a second time of being idle and disorderly;

(b) every idle and disorderly person resisting any constable or police officer apprehending him;

(c) every person wilfully exposing himself in an indecent manner, or exhibiting any obscene print, picture, or other indecent exhibition, in any street, road, highway, or public place or elsewhere, to the annoyance and disgust of others;

(d) every person wandering abroad, or placing himself in any public place, street, highway, court, or passage, and endeavouring by the exposure of any wounds, deformities, leprosy, or loathsome diseases to obtain or gather alms;

(e) every person going about as a gatherer or collector of alms, or endeavouring to procure charitable contributions for himself or others, of any nature or kind, under any false or fraudulent pretences, shall be deemed a rogue and vagabond within the true intent and meaning of this Ordinance, and

shall be liable to be imprisoned with or without hard labour for any period not exceeding one month, or to a fine not exceeding twenty rupees.

5. Who are deemed to be incorrigible rogues.

(a) Every person convicted a third time or more often of being idle and disorderly; or

(b) every person convicted a second time or more often of being a rogue and vagabond; and

(c) every person escaping out of any place of legal confinement before the expiration of the term for which he shall have been committed under this Ordinance,

shall be deemed to be an incorrigible rogue within the true intent and meaning of this Ordinance, and shall be liable to imprisonment with hard labour for any period not exceeding four months, and to corporal punishment not exceeding twenty-four lashes.

6. Incorrigible rogue may be required to give security for future good behaviour.

Every person convicted as an incorrigible rogue may, in addition to any punishment imposed by the preceding section be required also to give security for his good behaviour for one year after his discharge, and in default of such security shall be liable to additional imprisonment at hard labour not exceeding four months.

7. Soliciting and acts of indecency in public places.

(1) The following persons, that is to say—

(a) any person in or about any public place soliciting any person for the purpose of the commission of any act of illicit sexual intercourse or indecency, whether with the person soliciting or with any other person, whether specified or not;

(b) any person found committing any act of gross indecency, or found behaving with gross indecency, in or about any public place;

This section of the article is only available for our subscribers. Please click here to subscribe to a subscription plan to view this part of the article.


Recent Updates

PROVINCIAL COUNCILS ELECTIONS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 17 OF 2017


FISHERIES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES(AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 11 OF 2017


NATION BUILDING TAX (AMENDMENT)ACT, No. 13 OF 2017


SUGATHADASA NATIONAL SPORTS COMPLEX AUTHORITY (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 14 OF 2017


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


PROVINCIAL COUNCILS ELECTIONS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 17 OF 2017


FISHERIES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES(AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 11 OF 2017


NATION BUILDING TAX (AMENDMENT)ACT, No. 13 OF 2017


SUGATHADASA NATIONAL SPORTS COMPLEX AUTHORITY (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 14 OF 2017


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


PROVINCIAL COUNCILS ELECTIONS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 17 OF 2017


FISHERIES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES(AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 11 OF 2017


NATION BUILDING TAX (AMENDMENT)ACT, No. 13 OF 2017


SUGATHADASA NATIONAL SPORTS COMPLEX AUTHORITY (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 14 OF 2017


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


PROVINCIAL COUNCILS ELECTIONS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 17 OF 2017


FISHERIES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES(AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 11 OF 2017


NATION BUILDING TAX (AMENDMENT)ACT, No. 13 OF 2017


SUGATHADASA NATIONAL SPORTS COMPLEX AUTHORITY (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 14 OF 2017


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


PROVINCIAL COUNCILS ELECTIONS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 17 OF 2017


FISHERIES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES(AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 11 OF 2017


NATION BUILDING TAX (AMENDMENT)ACT, No. 13 OF 2017


SUGATHADASA NATIONAL SPORTS COMPLEX AUTHORITY (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 14 OF 2017


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


PROVINCIAL COUNCILS ELECTIONS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 17 OF 2017


FISHERIES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES(AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 11 OF 2017


NATION BUILDING TAX (AMENDMENT)ACT, No. 13 OF 2017


SUGATHADASA NATIONAL SPORTS COMPLEX AUTHORITY (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 14 OF 2017


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


PROVINCIAL COUNCILS ELECTIONS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 17 OF 2017


FISHERIES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES(AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 11 OF 2017


NATION BUILDING TAX (AMENDMENT)ACT, No. 13 OF 2017


SUGATHADASA NATIONAL SPORTS COMPLEX AUTHORITY (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 14 OF 2017


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


PROVINCIAL COUNCILS ELECTIONS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 17 OF 2017


FISHERIES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES(AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 11 OF 2017


NATION BUILDING TAX (AMENDMENT)ACT, No. 13 OF 2017


SUGATHADASA NATIONAL SPORTS COMPLEX AUTHORITY (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 14 OF 2017


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015