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Rehabilitation of Sex Workers - Directions to Central Government 2012 Sc

Rehabilitation of Sex Workers - Directions to Central Government 2012 Sc

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...........................J.
(MARKANDEY KATJU)
..........................J.
(GYAN SUDHA MISRA)
...........................J.
(MARKANDEY KATJU)
..........................J.
(GYAN SUDHA MISRA)

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02/10/2013

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Crl.A.135/10
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REPORTABLE
 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTIONCRIMINALAPPEALNO(s).135OF2010  BUDHADEV KARMASKAR Appellant (s)VERSUSSTATE OF WEST BENGAL Respondent(s)O R D E R  1.CRLMP.NO.12415 of 2012, has been filed on behalf of the Union of India, for modification ofthe order passed by this Court on 19
th
July, 2011,referring certain issues to the Committee which had  been constituted by the said order itself.2.The first modification sought by the Union ofIndia is for deletion of the Durbar MahilaSamanwaya Samiti, from the panel. The second  modification sought is with regard to the third term of reference, which reads as follows:-(3)Conditions conducive forsex workers who wish to continueworking as sex workers withdignity.”3.Appearing in support of the application, thelearned ASG, Mr. P.P. Malhotra, submitted that theSamiti in question had been actively advocating therevocation of the Immoral Traffic(Prevention) Act,
 
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1956, and had also been advocating the recognitionof sex trade being continued by sex workers. Thelearned ASG submitted that the continuance of suchSamiti in the panel is giving a wrong impression tothe public that the Union of India was alsoinclined to think on similar lines. The learned  ASG submitted that this wrong impression should beremoved by excluding the Samiti from the panel.4.As far as the second issue is concerned, thelearned ASG submitted that wording of suchreference could be suitably modified so as not togive an impression that the Union of India was infavour of encouraging the sex workers, incontravention of the provisions of the aforesaid  Act.5.We have heard Mr. Pradip Ghosh, learned senioradvocate and Chairman of the Committee, as alsolearned senior advocate, Mr. Jayant Bhushan, who isalso a member of the Committee and its co-Chairmanand Mr. Grover, learned senior advocate, on theissue.6.It has been submitted by Mr. Ghosh that at the meetings of the Committee, the members of theSamiti had contributed a great deal towards theunderstanding of the problems of the sex workersand it was not as if the said Samiti was
 
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encouraging sex trade, but were providing valuableinputs into the problems being faced by peopleengaged in the trade. Mr. Ghosh, Mr. Grover, and  Mr. Bhushan, in one voice urged that the presenceof the Samiti in the Committee was necessary evento function as a sounding board in respect of the problems that are faced by this marginalised and unfortunate section of society.7.We agree with the submissions made by Mr.Ghosh, Mr. Grover and Mr. Bhushan, learned seniorcounsel, and are not, therefore, inclined to deletethe Samiti from the Committee, as prayed for by theUnion of India, and such prayer is rejected.8.As to the second issue, it will not in any way make any difference to the terms of reference, ifthe wording of the third term of reference, is modified to the following effect:-
“Conditions conducive for sex workers to live withdignity in accordance withthe provisions of Article 21of the Constitution.” 
9.The above modification, should not, however, beconstrued to mean that by this order, any attemptis being made to encourage prostitution in any way.10.CRLMP.NO.12415 of 2012, is, therefore, disposed of in term of the aforesaid order.11.Let this matter now be listed for

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