After announcing in January that they will screen school children going to Mussoorie by calling up their parents to check whether they are aware of their child’s visit, cops in the hill town have now announced that they will not allow unaccompanied minors to take up rooms in the town. Bhawna Kainthola, SHO, Mussoorie, said on Thursday that the move was necessitated after “it was found that many school kids are checking into hotels alone.”
She added that a committee comprising a hotelier, a media person, a lady representative, a senior citizen and a representative from the traders’ association will help keep a check on minors who are being given hotel rooms.
While the announcement by the police triggered apprehensions among many that this was an act of moral policing, legal experts said that the police action seemed to be in accordance with law. “While there is no specific legal provision which governs booking of hotel rooms, the law clearly states that an under-18 year old is incompetent to contract. A stay in a hotel or a guest house is also a kind of contract so unaccompanied minors should not be allowed to book a room on their own,” said Mussoorie-based senior advocate Aalok Mehrotra.