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MADRAS HC:MERE PRESENCE IN A BROTHEL DOES NOT ATTRACT PENAL PROVISIONS

Team SoOLEGAL 27 Jun 2022 4:42pm

MADRAS HC:MERE PRESENCE IN A BROTHEL DOES NOT ATTRACT PENAL PROVISIONS

New Delhi: The Madras High Court's bench recently made the observation that the petitioner cannot be subjected to any punishment merely because they were in the location, which the respondents claim to be a brothel run by someone.

The petitioner was accused of being present during the time the police raided a massage parlour along with the sex workers. The petitioner was then charged with violating the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act's provisions as well as section 370A (2) of the Indian Penal Code.

The current criminal petition, filed under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code, to obtain records and to quash the FIR filed against the petitioner is still on the respondent Police Department's file.

The petitioner claims that doing sex work is not illegal and that only running a brothel is. Sex workers engage in prostitution of their own free will, not as a result of any inducement, force, or coercion, and thus such acts are not punishable under Section 370 of the Indian Penal Code. Furthermore, there is no evidence that the petitioner was involved in any sexual act at the aforementioned location, nor that the individuals who were rescued from the aforementioned location have made any allegations against any of the individuals, much less the petitioner.

In Budhadev Karmaskar v. The State of West Bengal & Ors (2022 Live Law (SC) 525), the Hon'ble Apex Court held that whenever a brothel is raided, sex workers should not be arrested or punished or harassed or victimized and that only the running of the brothel is unlawful. The bench referred to and observed this decision.

According to the Madras High Court, as long as a sex worker is an adult and engaging in sexual activity with his or her own consent, police authorities should refrain from taking action against them. The petitioner's actions wouldn't be considered acts of pressuring the sex workers to perform acts against their will.

As a result, all actions taken against the petitioner are quashed.



Tagged: PENAL PROVISIONS   MADRAS HC  
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