Report No. 64
6.8. Same comment on section 16.-
The same comment applies to section 16, under which the rescue of a girl who is apparently under the age of 21 years, can be ordered by a magistrate if the girl is living in a brothel or is carrying on prostitution in a brothel or is being made to carry on prostitution in a brothel.
In our view, this power should be available also where a woman of any age is being made to carry on prostitution in a brothel.
Need for amendment-We are therefcrte of the view that the scope of section 15(4) and section 16 should be widened as above.
No doubt, even after the Act is amended on the above lines, cases of women who are voluntarily carrying on prostitution will remain outside the provisions for rescue in sections 15(4) and 16(1) or the provision for subsequent custody contained in section 17. We do not think that the law could appropriately make a provision for rescuing such women because, ex hypothesi they are carrying on prostitution voluntarily and the question of their "rescue" cannot arise. Since prostitution in the abstract is not an offence punishable under the Act, it would not be proper for the present Act to empower the police or the court to take any action for the removal or custody of such women.