Report No. 64
4.24. Person hiring prostitute whether to be punished.-
The question is-Should a person who hires a prostitute, be punished? In other words should the patron of a prostitute be punished? It must be pointed out that such an amendment would go much beyond the present scope of the Act, and mark a radical departure. What the Act punishes, is not "prostitution" in the abstract, but prostitution under certain circumstances. A girl who offers her body for indiscriminte sexual intercourse for hire, may be a prostitute, but, being a prostitute is not, in itself an offence.1 The expression "prostitution" is defined for the purposes of the Act, but the penal sections do not punish prostitution per se.
Whatever view one may hold as to how far a particular society should put up with prostitution, and even if puritanism may impel a difficult to accept the proposition that the law should punish it as a particular society to regard prostitution as deserving condemnation, it is crime on the part of the male patron. The trend of legislation-whether one may like it or not-is towards leaving out of the sphere of criminal law conduct which takes place between consenting adults in private. In any case, it is hardly appropriate to add to the law a new provision which will punish the male patron, and we do not recommend any such change.
1. Chapter 3, supra.