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Report No. 64

4.16. Suggestion to add "indiscriminate lewdness" in the definition of prostitute.-

Then, there is a suggestion1 to re-draft section 2(e) as follows:-

"prostitute" means a female who offers her body for indiscriminate lewdness for hire whether in money or in kind offered immediately or otherwise,"

The reason given for suggesting the above amendment is that difficulties are experienced in establishing actual sexual intercourse. It is stated that the word "promiscuous" makes it necessary to prove more than one such case which makes it still more difficult to establish that a woman is a "prostitute" before action under section 3 or section 4 can be taken. It also becomes difficult to prove that immediate payment of money has been made. Organised commercial vice develops ways of indirect payment. It is urged that the change suggested is on the lines of the Children Act of Bombay, and a U.S. judicial decision.2 It is added that the proposed criterion of "indiscriminateness," would prove the case even when a single client happens to be involved.

"Lewdness" may be established even when a woman is within closed doors with total strangers. At the same time, this definition would not affect a woman giving her favours to one man who is well-known to her, nor would it affect a woman who is promiscuous without reward in cash or kind. Thus, the suggested amendment will help the prosecution without enlarging the scope of the Act. A similar change for adding "lewdness" has been suggested also with reference to the definition of "prostitution".3 We propose to deal with this point while discussing the definition of "prostitution".

1. Suggestion of the Central Bureau of Correctional Services.

2. Kelly v. State, 14 SO 2nd 599 (cited in the suggestion).

3. Section 2(f), para. 4.18, infra.

Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Women and Girls Act, 1956 Back

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