Friday, September 30, 2022

SC orders cops to treat sex workers with respect

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A bench led by Justice L Nageswara Rao also asked the Centre to explain its position on a panel’s recommendation in 2011 to exempt sex workers who are adults and participate with consent from criminal prosecution.

Because the Centre has yet to pass a law on sex workers, the Supreme Court has issued a series of directives on their “rehabilitation,” including training police officers to treat sex workers with dignity and avoid abusing or harming them.

A bench led by Justice L Nageswara Rao also asked the Centre to explain its position on a panel’s recommendation in 2011 to exempt sex workers who are adults and participate with consent from criminal prosecution.

Justices B F Gavai and A S Bopanna also joined the bench, which instructed states and union territories to “act in strict conformity with” some of the “recommendations,” which “relate only to rehabilitation measures in respect of sex workers and other related matters.” “It goes without saying that, regardless of occupation, every individual in this nation has a right to a dignified existence under Article 21 of the Constitution,” the bench ruled. The authorities who have a duty under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 must keep in mind the constitutional protection that is guaranteed to all citizens in this country.”

Senior advocate Jayant Bhushan, Usha Multipurpose Cooperative Society’s president/secretary, Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee’s president/secretary, and NGO Roshni Academy’s founder Saima Hasan were also on the committee. A set of recommendations was submitted by the panel.

On May 19, the Supreme Court noted that “the proposals were evaluated by the Government of India in 2016 and a draught statute was released incorporating the recommendations,” as it heard the case. However, because the law has yet to be enacted, the court said it is using its Article 142 authority to mandate the implementation of certain of the suggestions.

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