Is prostitution implicitly considered to be legal?
Is prostitution per se illegal?
In India prostitution is not recognised as a crime per se (subject to certain exceptions). The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 is the primary legislations which attempts to curb prostitution.
According to this Act, the following practises associated to prostitution are illegal:
- Seducing or soliciting for the purpose of prostitution,
- Prostitution if carried out ‘in or in the vicinity of public place’.
Therefore the Act, other than the above cases, does not make prostitution a crime. But ancillary activities about prostitution like running brothels, sourcing clients etc. on the other hand are punishable offenses. In other words, the Indian legal system penalises third party facilitators/ benefactors of prostitution. According to this Act, the following acts are illegal:
- Running a brothel or allowing premises to be used as a brothel,
- Living on the earnings of prostitution (for persons above 18 years),
- Procuring, inducing or taking person for the sake of prostitution,
- Detaining a person in premises where prostitution is carried on,
- Selling minors for the purpose of prostitution.