THE IMMORAL TRAFFIC (PREVENTION) ACT 1956

Introduction:
Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Women & Girls Act, 1956 (SITA) was enacted to make
uniform law all over country to prevent human trafficking. Preamble of this Act states that
this Act was enacted in pursuance of the International Convention signed at New York on
the 9th day of May, 1950, for the Prevention of Immoral Traffic. SITA was amended in
1976 & 1986.In implementation of the principles underlying Article 23(1) the Suppression
of Immoral Traffic in Women & Girls Act, 1956 (SITA ) has been enacted under Article
35 with the object of inhibiting or abolishing the immoral traffic in women and girls. This
Act aims at suppressing the evils of prostitution in women and girls and achieving a public
purpose viz. to rescue the fallen women and girls and to stamp out the evils of prostitution
and also to provide an opportunity to these fallen victims so that they could become decent
members of the society.
Meaning of Brothel and prostitute:
The definition of brothel and prostitute is given in section 2(a) and section 2(f) respectively
A brothel includes “any

  • house or any portion of any house;
  • room or any portion of any room;
  • conveyance or portion of any conveyance;
  • place or portion of any place;
    for purpose of:
    • sexual exploitation or;
    • abuse for the gain of another person or;
    • for the mutual gain of two or more prostitutes.”
    It is vital to prove whether such place is used for commercial exploitation or abuse. It is a
    question of fact whether a single use of such a place can make it fall under the definition of
    the brothel. It must be noted that it largely depends on the circumstances surrounding and
    the person keeping the place.
    The criteria for declaring a person as a ‘prostitute’ is construed from the definition of
    prostitution. It means “the sexual exploitation or abuse of persons for commercial
    purpose.” Accordingly, two things to be remembered are:
  • the occurrence of exploitation or abuse of a person for sex, and
  • such a person engaging in this activity does it for commercial gain.
    History of Prostitution –
    Prostitution in society has not been an unknown phenomenon; it is of ancient origin and
    has its manifestation in various forms with varied degrees unfounded on so-called social
    sanctions etc. The prostitute has always been an object and was never seen as complete
    human being with dignity of person; as if she has had no needs and aspirations of her own,
    individually or collectively. Their problems are compounded by coercion laid around them
    and torturous treatment meted out to them.
    Reasons of prostitutions:
  • Poverty The victims of the trap are the poor, illiterate and ignorant sections of the
    society and are the target group in the flesh trade; rich communities exploit them
    and harvest at their misery and ignominy in an organized gangsterism, in particular,
    with police nexus.
  • Illiteracy
  • Coercive trapping
  • Scare of social stigma. Prostitution is primarily due to ignorance illiteracy, coercive
    trapping or scare of social stigma.
    Case laws:
    • Sahyog Mahila Mandal and Ors. v. State of Gujarat and Ors 2004
    Court held- “Even a woman or girl living in a brothel or who is carrying on or being made
    to carry on prostitution in a brothel and removed therefrom on the direction of Magistrate
    under Section 16(1) is required to be produced under Section 16(2) of the Act before the
    Magistrate issuing the order and is required to be dealt with in accordance with Section 17
    (2), (3), (4) and (5) for the purposes of safe custody and rehabilitation.”
    • Gaurav Jain v. Union of India and Ors1997
    In this case Mr. Gaurav Jain filled a writ petition under article 32 of the constitution
    seeking mandamus, direction for the betterment of life of children of prostitutes.
    Decision -The Supreme Court held that the children of the prostitutes have the right to
    equality of opportunity, dignity, care, protection and rehabilitation so as to be part of the
    mainstream of social life without any pre-stigma attached on them. The Court directed for
    the constitution of a committee to formulate a scheme for the rehabilitation of such
    children and child prostitutes and for its implementation and submission of periodical
    report of its Register.
    Indian Constitution & International Conventions:
    The Convention on the Right of the Child, the fundamental Rights in Part III of the
    Constitution, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Directive Principles of the State
    Policy are equally made available and made meaningful instruments and means to
    ameliorate their conditions – social, educational, economical and cultural, and to bring
    them into the social stream by giving the same opportunities as had by other children.
    Fundamental Rights –
    Hon’ble Supreme Court said that all fundamental are also available to prostitutes and their
    children. For examples –
  • Article 14
  • Article 15 (3)
  • Article 16 (1)
  • Article 21
  • Article 23
  • Article 24
    Directive Principles of State Policy1. Article 38
  • Article 39 (f)
  • Article 45
  • Article 46
    Government Role :
    The government has established advisory and monitoring committees at various level for
    the welfare of children and of the prostitute. The committees devise suitable scheme for the
    proper and effective implementation of rehabilitation of fallen women. The review of
    progress enforced are regularly be supervised by the Ministry of Welfare, Government of
    India.
    Conclusion:
    In that view of the matter, it is believed and hoped that the above law and directions would
    relieve the human problem by rehabilitation of the unfortunate fallen women caught in the
    trap of prostitution; their children would be brought into the mainstream of the social order
    these directions would enable them to avail the equality of opportunity and of status, with
    dignity of person which are the arch of the Constitution.

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.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at adv.aishwaryasandeep@gmail.com

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

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