Legal Aspects of Prostitution in India

Prostitution is one of the oldest professions of the world practiced since the birth of an organized society. In India it is legal to practice prostitution but other related activities such as pimping, soliciting and brothels are illegal. According to an NGO, there are over 20 million sex workers in India. The problem arises when these sex workers are unable to connect themselves to the mainstream society. During the lockdown in India when people were forced to remain in their house, prostitutes were struggling to make their ends meet, which is why they were returning to the streets. Supreme Court took note of their plight and told Centre and States to urgently consider providing them relief in form of dry rations, monetary assistance as well as masks, soaps and sanitizers under the National Disaster Management Act.

Prostitution is a controversial issue in India. In fact, the worst part is that the people in India forget that in series of insulting their profession, they put a question mark on the life of that person…of the girl who had been possibly been just another victim of unexpected and unwanted assault of bad times. It is being heard often, rather always from the people that call girls are like this, they are not good, it is not preferred for decent people to be friend with them or to be in contact with them though they forget that it is this crowd who exploits the helplessness of these girls. It is easy to make out from outside that they are themselves indulging in these activities but nobody bothers to take charge to rebuild them. Once these innocent souls of 11 or 12 years are forced into the hell like brothels, the word ‘SELF RESPECT’ forever vanishes from there life.


As per section 2(f) of The Immoral Trafficking Act (1956) it gives the definition of “prostitution” as sexual exploitation or misuse of any persons for any business purpose. Section 372 and 373 of the Indian Penal Code 1860 also deals with prostitution but it is not adequate. Through under 366A, 366B, 370A of the IPC deals with punishing for offences of procreation of minor girl, important of girl from foreign for sex and exploitation of a trafficked person respectively. Thus, under IPC laws related to prostitution is quite limited. As per our Indian Constitution, the fundamental rights are available to every citizen of India and therefore sex workers being also the citizens are entitled to enjoy the rights. The right to life incorporated under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution is available to a prostitute which highlighted in the case of Budhadev Karmaskar vs State of West Bengal. In this case, the accused, Budhadev Karmaskar was held liable for murdering a sex worker in Kolkata in the year 1999. The court further state that a woman is indulged in prostitution not for pleasure but of poverty. If such a woman gets an opportunity to learn technical or vocational training, she can earn her basic livelihood from her skill instead of selling her body. Accordingly, the Supreme court directed the Central and the State government to make schemes for giving vocational training to the sex workers across the country.

The constitution of India prohibits trafficking in human beings, beggars and other similar forms of forced labor under Article 23(1) and any contravention of this provision shall be an offense punishable in accordance with the law under Article 23(2). But now let’s face the reality where laws are restricting. Here the system has installed the fear of punishments in the clients by making such law in which clients instead of meeting the sex- worker in an open or public place prefer to meet at a dark and alone place to avoid the police.

This needs to be stopped. Indian constitution means to uphold the dignity of every individual in the country. Prostitution is a wide phenomenon and whether it is positive or negative, account has to be taken into consideration of various issues to make a fair conclusion.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

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