Mumbai: HIV+ woman sent to detention to prevent her from indulging into prostitution
A Dindoshi session’s court recently upheld the order of the metropolitan magistrate court that had directed the detention of a woman for a period of two-years to counsel her from indulging into prostitution. The court said care and protection, apart from her rehabilitation, can be taken by detaining her. It added that as the woman is HIV-positive – which can be easily transmitted – “the setting free of the victim at large is likely to pose danger to the society.”
Additional sessions judge SU Baghele dismissed the application of her father and disposed of the plea. The court refused to agree to her counsel’s arguments that as she was financially sound, she is not likely to indulge in immoral activities. The court said that prima facie, from the first information report (FIR), it appeared that the woman agreed to indulge into prostitution after accepting ₹1 lakh.
The metropolitan magistrate had passed an order on August 20, directing the woman’s detention for a period of two-years under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956. After the police had got a tip-off, they had carried out a raid and rescued the woman.
The woman’s father had challenged the magistrate court, claiming that the magistrate had failed to appreciate the factual matrix and the legal provisions in the proper perspective. The state, however, had claimed that there was no error in passing of the said order.
The counsel, appearing for the woman’s father, had argued that she was from a reputed family and her father worked with the state government and that the family is financially sound. He can maintain the expenses of his daughter and the woman was willing to go to her family. She was nabbed owing to a misunderstanding and detained because she is HIV-positive, her father’s counsel argued.
The counsel also stated that her custody should be given to her father as there was no material to suggest that the woman would pose any danger to the society.
The state had argued that the woman was caught red-handed and sent for vocational training. As she was HIV-positive, the order of the lower court is proper.
After going through the documents, the court observed that the care and protection of the woman can also be ensured by detaining her, as directed by the magistrate “so as to ensure that the victim leads a normal life in future, after getting necessary brainwashing.”
As the woman is suffering from HIV, which can be easily transmitted through sexual intercourse, “the setting of the victim at large is likely to pose danger to the society”, due to which the factual scenario in the case at hand is different from the factual scenario in the cases and judgements relied upon, said the court.
Judge Baghele observed that the order of the magistrate is correct and legal and does not warrant any interference.