A Dindoshi Session Court in Mumbai has upheld the order of the Magistrate Court detaining an HIV-positive woman for two years. Additional Sessions Judge SU Baghele noted that she is likely to pose a danger to society if set free owing to her health condition.
The woman was detained under Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act (PITA) as she was caught red-handed while attempting to carry out the sex work. She was booked under Section 17(4) of PITA (as per which the Magistrate can order a person in need of care and protection to be sent to a protective home or custody).
“As the victim is indisputedly 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,” noted Justice Baghele.
He further noted, “The victim would receive care and protection in the correction home, which would help her lead a normal life after the necessary brainwash.”
However, the victim’s father had claimed that her daughter was arrested due to some understanding and HIV-positive status. He also submitted that his daughter is an actor, he is a police officer himself, the family is financially stable and can maintain her.
“The magistrate’s main objective behind directing detention is the possibility of transmission of disease through sexual intercourse and the victim’s rehabilitation to prevent her from indulging in such activities in the future through counselling,” the court noted.
“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 moment, by accepting Rs. 1,00,000/,” stated the court while rejecting the contention of victim’s father.