In significant remarks, the Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre whether it can legalise prostitution if it is not practically possible to curb the world's oldest profession with punitive measures.
"When you say it is the world's oldest profession and when you are not able to curb it by laws, why don't you legalise it? You can then monitor the trade, rehabilitate and provide of medical aid to those involved in the trade," a bench of Justices Dalveer Bhandari and AK Patnaik told Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam.
The apex court said legalising sex trade would be a better option to avoid trafficking of women and said nowhere in the world has the trade been curbed by punitive measures.
"They (sex trade) have been operating in one way or the other and nowhere in the world have they been able to curb it by legislation. In some cases, they are carried out in a sophisticated manner. So why don't you legalise it?" the apex court said, to which the Solicitor General said he would look into it.
The apex court's remarks came while dealing with a PIL filed by an NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan and the intervention application moved by Childline complaining about largescale child trafficking in the country.