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Prostitution is not a crime under the law, says High Court as it sets free three women

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MUMBAI: In an important verdict, the Bombay High Court has said that prostitution is not a crime under the law. 

It has clarified that what exactly is illegal and unlawful--it is the exploitation or abuse of a person for commercial purpose. 

The court held that there is no provision under the law that punishes a person because of indulging in prostitution, citing the objective of the (Prevention) of Immortal Trafficking Act, 1956.

It is noteworthy that three women were earlier caught from Malad after police had sent a decoy customer who posed as 'client' last year. Later, the magistrate didn't allow the custody of women to their respective mothers and he had directed them to be kept at a women's hostel.

The High Court struck the order and said that the women had the right to decide where they want to live. The judge Prithviraj Chavan also said that the petitioners are major and have the right to stay at the place of their choice and move within the territory of India, and choose their work, as per constitution. 

The court also said that women's willingness and consent should have been considered before ordering their detention. The Bombay High Court single bench judge order set aside the two lower court orders which kept three women in custody, earlier. The court also ordered the release of the women.