Report No. 64
2.2. Early efforts at regulation.-
During the days of the East India Company, the Company had regulations dealing with sex offences.1 In 1668, the Company Authorities issued regulations against prostitution. These were known as "Company Commandments", and compliance with those regulations was strictly required. During the years 1669 and 1677, Governor Anguri issued orders for the control of brothels and for the prevention of soldiers from keeping wenches and loose women. This was the first time that brothels came under the purview of law in the British period. Before the year 1860, there were only a few Regulations on the subject.
In 1860, the Indian Penal Code was enacted, and sections 372 and 373 of the Code were intended to prevent the inducting in prostitution of women under a certain age and against their wish. The Contagious Diseases Act, 1868 aimed at compulsory examination of common prostitutes and their detention in hospitals, till they were cured. This law proved irksome, and was repealed in 1888. The Presidency Town Police Acts and District Police Acts made certain acts pertaining to prostitution penal.
1. Based on Encyclopaedia of Social Work, (1970), Vol. 2, pp. 102-103.