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Report No. 64

5.7. Essential link between sub-section (1) and sub-section (2).-

The scheme of section 4 shows that sub-section (2) has to be read alongwith sub-section (1); and when sub-section (2) refers to "any person", it must, on a fair construction of the two sub-sections read together, refer to any person over the age of 18 years. It is clear that, before the Court proceeds to deal with the evidence relevant under any of the three clauses (a), (b) or (c) of sub-section (2) for determining whether a presumption can be drawn against a person, it must be proved that he is a person above the age of 18 years, because it is only persons who are shown to be above the age of 18 years who can be prosecuted under section 4(1); and they can be convicted after the other essential ingredient of the offence that they knowingly live on the earnings of prostitution-is also proved, it is in respect of this latter ingredient that a rule of evidence enabling the Court to draw a rebuttable presumption is prescribed by sub-section (2).

Therefore in our opinion, though, sub-section (2) refers to "any person", it applies only to a person above the age of 18 years, because a person below the age of 18 years cannot fall within the mischief of section 4(1), and hence there can be no question of applying sub-section (2) of section 4 to such a person. The rebuttable presumption will be drawn only against a person who is above 18 years and who is, therefore, interested in rebutting that presumption.

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

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