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Brothel customer can be booked under ITP Act for 'procuring person for prostitution': Kerala HC

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Brothel customer can be booked under ITP Act for 'procuring person for prostitution': Kerala HC

Kochi, Dec 30 (Ajit Weekly News) The Kerala High Court has held that a customer at a brothel can be hauled up in a case under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 (ITP Act).

The court pointed out that while the ITP Act does not define the word “procure”, Section 5 of the Act penalises “procuring, inducing or taking person for the sake of prostitution”.

“The principal object of the statute mentioned in the Statement of Objects and Reasons is to prevent commercialisation of the vices and trafficking among women and girls. 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,” the court judgment read.

The court passed the judgment while hearing a criminal revision petition moved by a man who was found as a customer at a brothel. He was made an accused in a crime registered by the police alleging offences under Sections 3 and 7 (prostitution in or in the vicinity of public places) of the ITP Act.

The petitioner first filed a discharge application before a magistrate court, but it was dismissed and charges were directed to be framed against him.

He the approached the high court, which discharged the petitioner for the offences under Sections 3, 4 and 7, but held that the petitioner is liable to be charged with offence under Section 5.

–Ajit Weekly News

sg/arm


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