NEW DELHI: Expressing concern over the trafficking of girls for prostitution, the Supreme Court on Thursday said the practice of arresting them on the charge of indulging in flesh trade should stop, as many of them were the victims of the social malady themselves. A three-judge Bench, headed by Justice Anil R Dave, asked the Centre to file an affidavit, giving details of the actions taken by it and all the state governments in pursuance of directions issued by the court in 1990, on curbing the menace of child trafficking and prostitution. “We would like to know what actions have been taken in pursuance of the directions issued in the judgement in 1990. The Union of India shall file an affidavit, giving complete details with regard to actions taken. We direct all the state governments to cooperate, so that an appropriate Affidavit could be filed,” the Bench said.
During the hearing, senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for petitioner Prajwala, said such girls were being arrested and kept in police lock-ups, which usually lacked facilities like separate toilets for women.
“The way they are treated by police during and after the raid or rescue operations is tortuous and they should not be arrested, as many of them are victims,” the Bench observed.
Dave argued that certain provisions of the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act needed to be amended and that the court should hear and pass directions on the PIL filed in 2004.
The Bench then said that instead of focusing on the rescue and post-rescue actions, measures should be initiated to prevent trafficking. “Please go one step back. We should have anti-trafficking measures in place,” the court said and asked the Centre to apprise it of the steps taken to curb the menace, as directed by the apex court.
The court had, in 1990, directed all the states to form Advisory Committees for making suggestions to eradicate prostitution.
It had asked the state governments and the Union Territories to direct their law-enforcing authorities to take appropriate and speedy action under the existing laws to eradicate child prostitution, without giving room for any complaint.
The PIL has sought implementation of Victim Protection Protocol in the country.
Missing Kids: Bihar C’garh pulled up
New Delhi: The SC on Thursday pulled up Bihar and Chhattisgarh governments over their failure to find missing children in their states and for not registering FIRs. The Bench said that only in 40 per cent of the cases FIRs were lodged and 20 per cent still remained untraced.