38.6c New Delhi, India, Sunday, May 19, 2024
Judiciary

Can case be registered against customer in brothel under Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act? Kerala HC says yes [Read Order]

By Rintu Mariam Biju      30 December, 2023 03:28 PM      0 Comments
Can case be registered against customer in brothel under Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act? Kerala HC says yes [Read Order]

Kochi: The Kerala High Court recently held that a customer in a brothel can be hauled up in a case under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 (ITP Act).

 “Accordingly, this Revision Petition is disposed of holding that the petitioner is liable to be charged for an offence under Section 5 of the ITP Act alone. Insofar as offences punishable under Sections 3, 4 and 7 of the ITP Act, the petitioner is discharged and the impugned order to that extent is confirmed”, Justice PG Ajithkumar said.  

The allegation against the petitioner was that he was found as a customer in the house (brothel) from where all the accused were arrested. Accused numbers 4 and 6 were allegedly subjected to prostitution at the instance of two accused. Accused numbers 3 and 5 were alleged to be the customers.

Though the petitioner argued that a customer cannot be implicated for offences under the ITP Act, his petition seeking discharge was rejected. Aggrieved, he moved the High Court. 

The offences alleged against him were Sections 3, 4, 5 and 7 of the ITP Act. Section 3 deals with persons keeping a brothel or allowing premises to be used as a brothel. Section 4 deals with initiation of prosecution against those who are living on the earnings of prostitution. Under Section 5, a person who procures, induces or takes persons for the purpose of prostitution are liable. Section 7 makes prostitution in or in the vicinity of public places punishable. The allegation against the petitioner is that he was a customer. 

Therefore, he cannot be charged with offences under Section 3, 4 or 7 of the ITP Act, the counsel for the petitioner argued. Even regarding the offence under Section 5, it was contended that the act as a consumer would not come within the contours of the penal provision. 

Acts punishable under Section 5 of the ITP Act may include procuring of a person, whether with or without consent of that person, for the purpose of prostitution. It is submitted that the word ‘procure’ takes in the act of a person involved in prostitution as a customer also, the Court was told. 

This prompted the Court to look into the definition of the term “procure” and it was noted that the term was undefined in the ITP Act. Therefore, the word has to be understood in the context in which it is used and bearing in mind the object, the statute intends to achieve, the Bench stated. 


As per the Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Act, the aim is to prevent commercialisation of the vices and trafficking among women and girls. 

This is the explanation that the Court gave - 

“The meaning of ‘procure’ given in Merriam Webster Dictionary is to get possession of; or to obtain something. If the said meaning of the word ‘procure’ is understood in the context of the aforesaid objective of the Statute, the person, who gets or obtains domain over a person for the purpose of prostitution, has to be said to procure a person for the purpose of prostitution. In that view of the matter, a consumer also comes within the purview of Section 5 of the ITP Act. Hence, the contention of the petitioner that even an offence under Section 5 of the ITP Act does not lie against the petitioner is untenable. The impugned order is therefore not liable to be set aside altogether”. 

Further, the petitioner argued that due to non-compliance of Sections 15(5) and 15(5A) of the ITP Act, the prosecution has become illegal. 

“What contemplated in the said provisions are not conditions precedent for a prosecution, but procedural safeguards for the protection of the interest of the victims of offence and also that of the offenders. Therefore, the said contention is untenable”, the Court opined while refusing to rule in favour of the petitioner.

 

[Read Order]



Share this article:

About:

Rintu Mariam Biju graduated from the National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi after comp...Read more

Follow:
FacebookTwitterLinkedinInstagram


Leave a feedback about this
Related Posts
View All

Kerala HC Quashes 498A Dowry Harassment Case Against Live-In Partner, Citing Lack of Relative Status [Read Order] Kerala HC Quashes 498A Dowry Harassment Case Against Live-In Partner, Citing Lack of Relative Status [Read Order]

Read about a recent judgment by the Kerala High Court that quashed a dowry harassment case against a woman in a live-in relationship. The court ruled that she couldn't be considered a relative under Section 498A of the IPC, highlighting the importance of precise legal definitions.

Watching porn on mobile: Kerala HC highlights importance of mother cooked meals, outdoor sports [Read Order] Watching porn on mobile: Kerala HC highlights importance of mother cooked meals, outdoor sports [Read Order]

Kerala High Court emphasizes the importance of outdoor sports, home-cooked meals, and parental supervision, discouraging the gifting of mobile phones to minors. Learn why the court quashed a case related to private porn viewing and the need for responsible parenting.

Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal Disqualified from Lok Sabha After Conviction Suspension Plea Rejected by Kerala High Court [Read Notice] Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal Disqualified from Lok Sabha After Conviction Suspension Plea Rejected by Kerala High Court [Read Notice]

Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal PP faces disqualification from Lok Sabha as Kerala High Court rejects plea to suspend his conviction in an attempt to murder case. Get the latest updates on his legal battle.

Supreme Court Grants Stay on Conviction of Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal in Attempted Murder Case Supreme Court Grants Stay on Conviction of Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal in Attempted Murder Case

Stay tuned for the latest legal developments as the Supreme Court suspends the conviction of Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal in an attempt to murder case. Get insights into this high-profile case and its impact on his political career.

TRENDING NEWS

sc-notice-to-ec-on-plea-by-adr-for-release-of-voters-turnout-data
Trending Judiciary
SC notice to EC on plea by ADR for release of voters turnout data

SC issues notice to EC on ADR plea to release voter turnout data. SC demands EC to disclose vote counts within 48 hours after each phase of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

18 May, 2024 11:16 AM
delhi-hc-refuses-jackie-shroff-interim-relief-against-youtuber-unfilteredthugesh-for-alleged-personality-rights-infringement
Trending CelebStreet
Delhi HC refuses Jackie Shroff interim relief against Youtuber 'UnfilteredThugesh' for using "Thug Life" in video on Shroff

The Delhi High Court has refused Jackie Shroff interim relief against Youtuber 'UnfilteredThugesh' for alleged personality rights' infringement.

18 May, 2024 05:20 PM

TOP STORIES

indian-courts-this-week-law-street-journals-weekly-round-up-of-sc-hcs-may-6-may-10
Trending Judiciary
Indian Courts this Week: Law Street Journal's Weekly Round-Up of SC & HCs [May 6 - May 10]

Get the latest updates from India's Supreme Court and the High Courts ! Here’s a round up of the week's top legal stories in a quick, easy-to-read summary.

13 May, 2024 10:29 AM
sc-dismisses-union-govt-plea-against-bail-to-maoist-financer-in-case-of-attack-on-police-party-in-jharkhand
Trending Judiciary
SC dismisses Union govt's plea against bail to Maoist financer in case of attack on police party in Jharkhand [Read Judgment]

SC rejects govt's plea against bail for accused in Jharkhand police attack case, citing absence of violated bail conditions.

13 May, 2024 11:33 AM
supreme-court-upholds-gang-rape-conviction-though-victim-turned-hostile
Trending Judiciary
Supreme Court upholds gang rape conviction, though victim turned hostile [Read Judgment]

SC upholds gang rape conviction despite victim's hostility, affirming witness credibility in criminal trials.

13 May, 2024 12:24 PM
sanatana-dharma-remarks-sc-seeks-response-from-up-maha-ktka-bihar-jamp;k-on-udhayanidhis-plea-for-clubbing-firs
Trending Judiciary
Sanatana Dharma remarks SC seeks response from UP, Maha, Ktka, Bihar, J&K on Udhayanidhi's plea for clubbing FIRs

SC seeks response on Udhayanidhi's plea for clubbing FIRs related to his remarks on 'Sanatan Dharma'.

13 May, 2024 12:39 PM

ADVERTISEMENT


Join Group

Signup for Our Newsletter

Get Exclusive access to members only content by email