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Report No. 146

3.8. Sections 372 and 373 of the Indian Penal Code.-

The social evil of selling women and children is dealt with in the Penal Code, directly or indirectly, by several provisions. As stated above1, the provisions that come nearest to the point under consideration are sections 372 and 373, Indian Penal Code, which read as under:-

"372. Selling minor for purposes of prostitution, etc.-Whoever sells, lets to hire, or otherwise disposes of any person under the age of eighteen years with intent that such person shall, at any age, be employed or used for the purposes of prostitution or illicit intercourse with any person or for any unlawful and immoral purpose, or knowing it to be likely that such person will, at any age, be employed or used for any such purpose, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine.

Explanation I.-When a female under the age of eighteen years is sold, let for hire, or otherwise disposed of to a prostitute or to any person who keeps or manages a brothel, the person so disposing of such female shall, until the contrary is proved, be presumed to have disposed of her with the intent that she shall be used for the purpose of prostitution.

Explanation II.-For the purposes of this section, "illicit intercourse" means sexual intercourse between persons not united by marriage or by any union or tie which, though not amounting to a marriage, is recognised by the personal law of custom of the community to which they belong or, where they belong to different communities, of both such communities, as constituting between them a quasi-marital relation.

373. Buying minor for purposes of prostitution, etc.-Whoever buys, hires or otherwise obtains possession of any person under the age of eighteen years with intent that such person shall at any age be employed or used for the purpose of prostitution or illicit intercourse with any person or for any unlawful and immoral purpose, or knowing it to be likely that such person will, at any age be employed or used for any such purpose, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Explanation I.-Any prostitute or any person keeping or managing a brothel, who buys, hires or otherwise obtains possession of a female under the age of eighteen years shall, until the contrary is proved, be presumed to have obtained possession of such female with the intent that he shall be used for the purpose of prostitution.

Explanation II.-"Illicit intercourse" has the same meaning as in section 372."

1. Para. 2.1, supra.



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