Law Students Forum (LSF) Jammu and Kashmir is approaching Law Minister Tariq Hameed Karra for repealing the Public Prostitutes Registration Rules 1977 (1921 AD) and J&K Prostitution Act 1929, which gives a legal provision to grant licenses to brothels. According to the law, the prostitution in the state is legal and anyone can run a brothel after paying a fee of Rs 5 and getting a license.
LSF chairman Nadeem Qadri told Hindustan Times that the repeal of these laws would go a long way in the prevention of immoral activities in J&K.
"The recent sex scandal involving a former minister, various politician and bureaucrats is a black spot on the ethical and moral decorum of the people of the state. Till the old laws relating to the prostitution are not repealed such incidents shall keep on recurring in the state," Qadri said adding that LSF would approach the Law Minister to take up the issue in the forthcoming Assembly session.
Although at present the offenders of sexual abuses are tried under the Prevention of Moral Trafficking Act 1956 (PITA) and the corresponding sections of J&K Ranbir Penal Code (RPC), the Public Prostitutes
Registration Rules of 1921 are still in force.
Ironically, the Public Prostitutes Registration Rules, 1977 (1921 AD) are till this date published in J&K Laws, the State's statue book (Vol 18, Page No 279).
J&K is probably the only state in India where prostitution is legal. The only condition of running brothels in the state is that the girls in the brothels have to swear that they are in the business of prostitution out of their free will and not under duress.
When the matter was first reported, former Law Minister, Muzaffar Hussain Beig had assured that the government would introduce a bill concerning the subject in the forthcoming Assembly session.
Beig had said, "Yes, the rules are in the book and are as such valid." Calling for terming the law null and void, LSF would also send of copy of their request to Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, Legislative Assembly Speaker Tara Chand, Legislative Council Chairman Abdul Rashid Dar, all MLAs and MLCs, Minister of States, Chief Secretary, opposition National Conference president Omar Abdullah, ruling coalition partners Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti, former Law Minister Muzaffar Hussain Beig, leader of opposition Abdul Rahim Rather, Law Secretary department of Law and Assembly Secretary Legislative Assembly Secretariat.