The centre has raised some qualms in Supreme Court on the recommendations that came from the panel that suggests that as voluntary sex work is not illegal in India, sex workers should not be “arrested, penalised or harassed or victimised”. Running a brothel is a crime.
Sex Worker Is A Dignified Citizen
The appointed panel from SC made some recommendations out of which one suggests that “Whenever there is a raid on any brothel since voluntary sex work is not illegal and only running the brothel is unlawful, the sex workers concerned should not be arrested or penalised or harassed or victimised.”
Supreme Court decided on basis of recommendations made by the panel, “Needless to say, this basic protection of human decency and dignity extends to sex workers and their children, who, bearing the brunt of social stigma attached to their work, are removed to the fringes of the society, deprived of their right to live with dignity and opportunities to provide the same to their children.”
Court says every individual has the right to a dignified life in this country, “It need not be again said that notwithstanding the profession, every individual in this country has a right to a dignified life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.”
Conclusion By The Court
Justices, L Nageswara Rao, BR Gavai and AS Bopanna are instructed to file the response to the recommendations made by the panel within six weeks and appointed a new date for the matter July 27, 2022.
The Panel comprised “Pradip Ghosh as the Chairman of the Panel, Jayant Bhushan, Senior counsel, Usha Multipurpose Co-operative Society through its President/Secretary, Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee through its President/Secretary, and Roshni through Saima Hasan by SC on July 19 2011.”
The bench of three judges led by Justice L Nageswara Rao concluded, “Sex workers are entitled to equal protection of the law. Criminal law must apply equally in all cases on the basis of age and consent. When it is clear that the sex worker is an adult and is participating with consent, the police must refrain from interfering or taking any criminal action. It need not be again said that notwithstanding the profession, every individual in this country has the right to a dignified life under Article 21 of the Constitution.”
Court also pointed out, “It has been noticed that the attitude of the police to sex workers is often brutal and violent. It is as if they are a class whose rights are not recognised.”
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The court instructed that the media should abide “utmost care to not reveal the identities of sex workers, during arrest, raid and rescue operations, whether as victims or accused and not publish or telecast any photo that would result in disclosure of such identities.”