NATIONAL LEGAL RESEARCH DESK
The petitioner herein filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution of India by way of public interest litigation seeking directions for:
(i) Inquiry against police officials under whose jurisdiction the malady of forced prostitution, Devdasi system and Jogin traditions were flourishing and
(ii) For rehabilitation of the victims of these situations.
The court gave following directions:
1) Measures should be preventive than being punitive.
2) All the State Governments and the Governments of Union Territories should direct their concerned law enforcing authorities to take appropriate and speedy action under the existing laws in eradicating child prostitution without giving room for any complaint of remissness or culpable indifference.
3) They should set up separate Advisory Committees for making suggestions for eradication of prostitution, implementation of the social welfare programmes for the care, protection, treatment, development and rehabilitation of the victims, and for amendments of the existing law, or for enactment of any new law for prevention of sexual exploitation of the children. These Governments should also devise machinery for ensuring proper implementation of the suggestions of their respective committees. The Committees should consist of the secretary of the Social Welfare Department or Board, the Secretary of the Law Department, sociologists, criminologists, members of the women’s organizations, members of Indian Council of Child Welfare and Indian Council of Social Welfare as well the members of various voluntary social organizations and associations etc., the main objects of the Advisory Committee being to make suggestions of:
(a) The measures to be taken in eradicating the child prostitution, and
(b) The social welfare programmes to be implemented for the care, protection, treatment, development and rehabilitation of the young fallen victims namely the children and girls rescued either from the brothel houses or from the vices of prostitution.
This is not an exhaustive list of the members for the constitution of the committee. Therefore, it is open to the concerned Government to include any member or members in the committee as it deems necessary.
4) All the State Governments and the Governments of Union Territories should take steps in providing adequate and rehabilitative homes manned by well-qualified trained social workers, psychiatrists and doctors.
5) The Central Government and the Governments of States and Union Territories should devise a machinery of its own for ensuring the proper implementation of the suggestions that would be made by the respective committees.
6) The Advisory Committee can also go deep into devadasi system and Jogin tradition and give their valuable advice and suggestions as to what best the Government could do in that regard. The Court herein also relied on the decision in Gaurav Jain v. Union of India and Others, AIR 1990 SC 292.