A Mumbai sessions court upheld the two-year detention of an HIV positive prostitution victim, stating that she would 'pose a danger to society' if released due to her health condition.
Additional Session Judge SU Baghele stated that the victim would be cared for and protected in the correctional facility, allowing her to lead a normal life after the necessary "brainwash."
"As the victim is indisputably suffering from HIV, which can be easily transmitted through sexual intercourse, the setting of the victim at large is likely to pose a danger to the society,” the court said.
The woman's father filed an appeal with the Sessions Court after a Magistrate ordered the victim's detention in a shelter home for two years under Section 17(4) of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956.
According to the father's counsel, the woman was arrested due to a misunderstanding and her HIV positive status. Furthermore, his daughter is an actress, and he is a police officer; the family is financially secure, and they can support her.
The prosecutor objected to the application, claiming that the woman was caught red-handed. She was HIV positive and was sent to a correctional facility for vocational training.
The court noted that the magistrate's main goal in directing detention is to prevent disease transmission through sexual intercourse and to rehabilitate the victim to prevent her from engaging in such activities in the future through counselling.
The sessions court rejected the father's reliance on the Bombay High Court's decision in Asiya Anwar Shaikh Vs the State of Maharashtra because the victim in that case was not disabled enough to pose a danger to society.
The court observed that, “The care and protection of the victim can also be ensured, by detaining her, as directed by the learned Magistrate, so as to ensure that the victim leads a normal life in future, after getting necessary brainwash."
The court rejected the woman's father's argument that because she came from a wealthy family, she would not engage in immoral behaviour.
The court added, “There is no substance in the submission that the victim is not likely to indulge into such immoral activities, being financially sound, looking to the factual matrix, as primafacie apparent from the FIR, whereby the victim is said to have agreed to indulge into prostitution at the particular amount, by accepting Rs. 1,00,000/.”