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Rajendran Nallusamy (Advocate)     24 March 2008

Is prostitution legal in India

The Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act, 1956 ("ITPA"), the main statute dealing with s*x work in India, does not criminalise prostitution or prostitutes per se, but mostly punishes acts by third parties facilitating prostitution like brothel keeping, living off earnings and procuring, even where s*x work is not coerced.

Objectives of the Act:



 6 Replies

veenzar (Advocate)     26 March 2008

Legislation passed in India regarding prostitution in 1956 and 1986 did not have the objective of abolishing prostitutes and prostitution; the stated objectives of the legislation were 'suppression' and 'prevention of prostitution'. [3] The 1956 Supression of Immoral Trafficking Act (SITA) assumed that prostitution was a 'necessary evil' and prohibited a prostitute from soliciting clients in public places and forced her to work in certain areas known as red-light areas, thereby exposing her to exploitation by pimps and others. Though the SITA did not aim to punish prostitutes unless they solicited, it gave enough powers to police and other government agencies to terrorise, harass and financially exploit a prostitute. The 1986 Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act (ITPA) provides marginal benefits to prostitutes by prohibiting male police officers from searching them unless accompanied by two female police officers; and also by seeking to draw women away from prostitution through rehabilitation in Protective Homes. However, a recent review of the conditions in a well-known Protective Home in Delhi indicates little success in meaningful rehabilitation of its inmates.

Guest (n/a)     01 April 2008

No person shall be deprived of his life and personal liberty exept according to the procedure established by law.Here,we have to give respect to all sorts of business & professions.Reffering to the point that whether Prostitution legal in India is an Important debatable note and in my opinion I think if we deprive the Prostitutes as illegal workers of the nation than it is better to control ourself at first who makes the women as prostitutes.

Carlisle Collins (Samaritan)     09 September 2008

Nation of Hypocrites

There is more dignity in a woman who flaunts her wares publicly declaring herself to be a prostitute than, for instance, a government employee who hides behind the curtain of pseudo-respectability yet secretly prostitutes his integrity! The one we ostracize; the other has become an accepted part of our cultural fabric.

We have a rich culture of s*xual diversities, viz a viz Kajuraho, Kama Sutra, Tantra, etc., and overt s*xually imbued worship, viz a viz Lord Shiva’s divine Lingam, proudly erect, and his consort (Shakti), or female aspect’s Yoni, the Fountain of Life. But, let’s face it, Folks, as a nation of hypocrites, we are reluctant to openly adopt these revered mythological practices into our personal lives; at least, not admit to it publicly for fear of criminal sanctions.

Nevertheless, uncensored public access to these very animate representations of our society’s “Taboos” continue unabashed and unabated as though our Masters in Power are saying, “It’s OK to improvise on s*xual adventures, but don’t get caught”. Case in point (IPC §377 -'Unnatural Offences'): Who exactly defines what is "against the order of nature"? The term "sodomy" once included oral s*x as well as masturbation; it is still only anagogically understood as "any s*x act that does not lead to procreation". Isn’t s*x with condoms, intra-uterine devices (IUDs) and injectable contraceptives, and the good ol’ manual self-gratification against the order of nature? Are all except the heteros*xual missionary position for coitus taboo? What of the female orgasm? More myth than taboo!! Is there a legal definition for "against the order of nature" or should we leave it to the arbitrary interpretation of our learned courts?

If the government’s reluctance to accept consensual homos*xuality as a legitimate form of s*xual expression is any indicator of “progressive legislation” being proposed along the lines of anti-Sati and anti-Dowry laws, legitimizing prostitution will continue remaining a dream; at most, a WET dream! 

aatma   10 September 2008

It is legal in india. Another name is 498a extortion.

Carlisle Collins (Samaritan)     12 September 2008

Hypocrisy in censorship: See for yourself in the edited/’approved’ dissertation above. The presence of the word “Ess (S) – iE (E) – Ex (X)” has been altered and appears as “s*x” everywhere; this, no doubt, to appease the prudish sector of the readership, as though the substitution of *(asterisk) for the letter ‘E’ makes it appear ‘milder’ or “less offensive”!  Of course this is the ridiculous workings of an automatic editing tool in the software, but why is it that the programmer’s mind immediately associates the word “ S – E — X ” exclusively with coitus? The word could also refer to Gender. If the “S”-Word is so offensive as to be altered when in print, shouldn’t this also apply to acts more heinous, such as RAPE? Any logic in protecting adult lawyers from reading the S-Word, when we are exposed to more offensive actions in our day-to-day lives?!  I think we should root out pretentiousness in our personal and professional conduct before prescribing this change for the general public.

Carlisle Collins (Samaritan)     12 September 2008

Notice: There’s no *(asterisk) in the word RAPE above (or here!), as though this word is acceptable and the “S”-Word is scandalous, offensive, not to be mentioned in ‘polite company’!!

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