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‘consumer’ in a brothel house can be made liable: Kerala HC

Last Updated on January 2, 2024 by News Desk

Facts:- The petitioner in the case was found as a customer in a brothel house and was alleged as the 3rd accused for the offences under sections 3, 4, 5 and 7 of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 (ITP Act).

Background:- The application was filed by the petitioner which was dismissed by the magistrate and charges were directed to be framed against him. The petitioner approached the H.C.

Arguments

For:- It was contended by the petitioners that he cannot be prosecuted under sections 3,4,5 and 7 of the ITP Act, as he was just a consumer and therefore he cannot be made liable under section 5 for the procurement of persons for prostitution.

Against: – It was contended by the public prosecutor Maya MN that the term procure would also include the customer.

Analysis: – The court stated that the term ‘procure’ has to be interpreted in a way so that the objective behind the statute can be achieved.

It was observed by Justice PG Ajithkumar that the word ‘procure’ has not been defined in the act but the motive of the statute must be understood that is protecting women and girls from the commercialization of vices and trafficking.

The court said that the procedural safeguards were there only to protect the victims and offenders and were not a condition for the prosecution.

Judgement: It has been held by the Kerala HC that a person who is a consumer in a brothel house is liable to come under the purview of section 5.

The court disposed of the revision petition whereby it stated that the petitioners could be charged under section 5 of the ITP Act and discharged him from other offences.

Case Number: – CRL.REV.PET NO. 1208 OF 2023

Written By: – Shianjany Pradhan (@SHIANJANYPRADHAN)

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