Sex work no offense, but doing it in a public place can be: Mumbai court | News from India

MUMBAI: By observing the rules, engaging in sex work is not itself a criminal offence, but doing it in a public place so as to cause annoyance to others can be called a criminal offence, a sessions court ordered a halfway house to put released a 34-year-old prostitute who was taken into custody after a raid in Mulund in February this year. The woman moved the court hearing after the magistrate’s court ordered her to be detained at the house for a period of one year for care, protection and shelter.
Canceling this order, a sessional court affirmed under Article 19 of the Constitution, that the right to move freely and to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India are fundamental rights.
A court in Mumbai has stated that, under Article 19 of the Constitution, the right to move freely and to reside and settle anywhere in the territory of India are fundamental rights. “The victim is a major, she is an Indian citizen and therefore she possesses these rights and if the victim is detained without cause then it can be said that her right to move freely and right to reside and settle down are violated…from the report from the police it does not appear anywhere that the victim engaged in prostitution in a public place… The victim is free to reside anywhere and to move freely anywhere in India,” the court said.
The court said that detaining the victim solely on the basis of an employment record was incorrect. “The victim has two children. Of course they need their mother and if the victim is held against her will, it harms her rights. The judge cited a Supreme Court ruling in which he discussed the rights of sex workers and also directed the state government to conduct an investigation and release adult victims who were found to be held against their will in shelters. “Considering said summons, legal position, age of the victim, the order of March 15, 2023 must be canceled and the victim must be released,” the court said.
The woman told the court that after the FIR was registered, the accused and the three victims, including her, were presented before the Mazgaon Court. The victims were later sent for age verification and his interim custody was extended. Meanwhile, the magistrate requested a report from the medical officer in which the victim was revealed as a major. The woman said that of the three victims, two had already been released but she was sent to the refuge home of Deonar for one year.
The victim denied involvement in immoral activities. He also said he had children who needed her. The woman said that on February 19 she was produced before the magistrate. The woman said that when issuing the order the magistrate had not taken her into consideration and a mechanical order was issued. You said that you have the right to move anywhere and reside anywhere under Article 19 of the Indian constitution. The state has opposed her request and said there is a possibility she could reengage in sex work.
The investigating officer said a raid was carried out with the help of phony clients after receiving inside information that the owner and manager of a hotel were keeping women for prostitution.


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