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Report No. 146

3.10. Need for Amendment.-

It is this limited scope of the two sections that gives rise to the need for amendment. There is, we believe, justification for extending the scope of the legal provisions so as to cover cases where a woman or a child is sold, whatever be the immediate or ultimate objective of the transaction and whether such objective be apparent or not. We have, in the opening paragraphs of this Chapter, set out some of the important considerations that should be borne in mind in approaching the subject. It is not necessary to repeat everything that has been said in those paragraphs.

It is sufficient to state that the sale of a human being-particularly where the question is of an individual who needs special protection of the law-should be regarded, not only as a practice deserving condemnation by the law, but as conduct that should be visited with criminal penalties. The presence of an unlawful or immoral purpose may aggravate the criminality: but its absence does not take away the heinousness of the conduct.

Such transaction destroys the very humanness of the individual so sold, let on hire otherwise disposed of. Even from the point of view of the doer of the act, it is demoralising act, because, if the law does not punish that doer, it may tend to generate and perpetuate in him an insidious abhorrence of human values and a disregard of the dignity of human beings. He tends to treat human beings as chattels to be used for accomplishing mercenary motives. The lacuna existing in the present law, therefore, needs to be removed.

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