Gujarat high court gives relief to pimp

Thursday, February 24, 2011

GANDHINAGAR - Pimps, who charge a commission to get customers for prostitutes, cannot be made to face charges related to abetment to seduction, the Gujarat High Court has held, while offering relief to one.

Justice Akil Kureshi, in a judgment made available Thursday, held so while hearing a petition of Mintu Sinh alias Rana and others vs State of Gujarat.

Justice Kureshi noted that charges under Section 9 of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, which deals with seduction of a person in custody, cannot be imposed on such persons. The offence is punishable with a maximum of life imprisonment.

The section states: “Any person who having the custody, charge or care of, or a position of authority over, any person causes or aids or abets the seduction for prostitution of that person shall be punishable on conviction.”

The court noted the apex court had observed that seduction implies surrender of her body by a woman who is otherwise reluctant or unwilling to submit herself to illicit intercourse in consequence of persuasion.

It noted that where a woman offers herself for intercourse for money not casually but in course of her profession as prostitute there was neither scruples nor reluctance to be overcome, and surrender by her is not seduction within the code.

The court said that it would then be impossible to hold that a person who instigates another to assist a woman, following the profession of a prostitute, abets him to do an act with intent that she may or will be seduced to illicit intercourse.

Mintu Sinh and others sought the courts interference to drop abetment to seduction charges slapped on them in a complaint.

Justice Kureshi after hearing the petition ordered the deletion of the charges.

Advocate Chetan Raval appeared for the petitioners and advocate J.K. Shah represented the state government.

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