Report No. 64
6.6. Relevant provisions summarised.-
We shall first refer briefly to the relevant provisions. Section 15 sub-section (1) authorises the search of premises where any woman or girl is living in respect of whom an offence punishable under the Act has been or is being committed. An offence "in respect of a woman or a girl"-an expression not very precise could be of several kinds. Prostitution as such is not an offence under the Act but certain acts connected with prostitution are offences, and the definition of "prostitute" is not confined to girls as that expression1 is defined to mean "a female who offers her body for sexual intercourse" etc.
Thus for example, section 3 which deals with one of the offences under the Act and punishes the keeping of a brothel, may involve girls as well as women. Section 4 which prescribes the punishment for living on the earnings of prostitution would similarly involve any female by virtue of the definition of "prostitution", and in fact, section 4 sub-section (1) makes this clear by using the phrase "prostitution of a woman or girl". "Under section 5, certain acts-mainly, procuring, inducing or taking a "woman or girl" for the sake of prostitution-are punishable, and under section 6, detention of a "woman or a girl" in any brothel or in or upon any premises with the specified intent, is punishable.
A "woman or a girl" who carries on prostitution in premises within the specified distance of a place of public religious worship, educational institution and the like, is punishable under section 7. Seduction of a "woman or girl" in custody is punished under section 9. This brief resume of the relevant provision shows that section 15(1) is not confined to girls.
1. Section 2-definition of "Prostitution".