18. Closure of brothel and eviction of offenders from the premises.
(1) A Magistrate may, on receipt of information from the police or otherwise, that any house, room, place or any portion thereof within a distance of two hundred meters of any public place referred to in sub-section (1) of Section 7 is being run or used as a brothel by any person, or is being used by prostitutes for carrying on their trade, issue notice on the owner, lessor or landlord or such house, room, place or portion or the agent of the owner, lessor or landlord or on the tenant, lessee, occupier of, or any other person in charge of such house, room, place, or portion, to show cause within seven days of the receipt of the notice why the same should not he attached for improper use thereof, and if, after hearing the person concerned, the Magistrate is satisfied that the house, room, place or portion is being used as a brothel or for carrying on prostitution, then the Magistrate may pass orders,-
(a) Directing eviction of the occupier within seven days of the passing of the order from the house, room, place, or portion;Provided that, if the Magistrate finds that the owner, lessor or landlord as well as the agent of the owner, lessor or landlord, was innocent of the improper user of the house, room, place, or portion, he may cause the same to be restored to the owner, lessor or landlord or the agent of the owner, lessor landlord, with a direction that the house, room, place or portion shall not be leased out, or otherwise given possession of, to or for the benefit of the person who was allowing the improper use therein.
(b) Directing that before letting it out during the period of one year or in a case where a child or minor has been found in such house, room, place or portion during a search under Section 15, during the period of three years, immediately after the passing of the order, the owner, lessor or landlord or the agent of the owner, lessor or landlord shall obtain the previous approval of the Magistrate;
(2) A court convicting a person of any offence under Section 3 or Section 7 may pass orders under sub-section (1), without further notice to such person to show cause as required in that sub-section.
(3) Orders passed by the Magistrate or court under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2), shall not be subject to appeal and shall not be stayed or set aside by the order of any court, civil or criminal, and the said orders shall cease to have validity after the expiry of one year or three years, as the case may be:
Provided that where a conviction under Section 3 or Section 7 is set aside on an appeal on the ground that such house, room, place, or any portion thereof is not being run or uses as a brothel or is not being used by prostitutes for carrying on their trade, any order passed by the trial court under sub-section (1) shall also be set aside. (4) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, when a Magistrate passes an order under subsection (1), or a Court passes all order under sub-section (2), any lease or a agreement under which the house, room, place or portion is occupied at the time shall become void and inoperative.
(5) When an owner, lessor or landlord, or the agent of such owner, lessor or landlord fails to comply with a direction given under clause (b) of sub-section (1) he shall be punishable with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees or when he fails to comply with a direction under the proviso to that subsection, he shall be deemed to have committed an offence under clause (b) of sub-section (2), of Section 3 or clause (c) of sub-section (2) of Section 7, as the case may be, and punished accordingly.
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