Report No. 64
5.11. Question of increase in the age under section 4(2), proviso.-
There is another incidental question which may arise out of the proviso-namely, whether, in regard to a son or daughter of a prostitute, a specific provision should be made that no presumption should be drawn against him or her if he or she is-shown to be below 21 years of age. It is urged in support of this view that a son or daughter of a prostitute, who may be living with the mother, should be given additional protection in view of the fact that he or she would inevitably have to stay with the mother, and it would not be unfair or unreasonable to assume that he or she continues to be immature until he or she completes 21 years of age, because, normally, a boy or a girl in that position may not be mature at the age of 18.
Prima facie, there is some force in this view; but, on the other hand, if the argument of immaturity is regarded as relevant, then, its application cannot be reasonably excluded even in regard to other relatives, of the prostitute who are below 21, because, even in their cases, it may, with equal justification, be urged that they are living with the prostitute as a matter of economic necessity and because of near relationship (for instance, sister, nephew, niece, first cousin), and their immaturity upto the age of 21 should also afford them a shield of protection.