(Prayer: This criminal petition is filed under Section 482 of Cr.P.C., praying to quash entire proceedings in C.C.No.51558/2015 on the file of X ACMM at Mayohall, Bengaluru filed by the H.A.L. Police for the alleged offence punishable under Section 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9 of Immoral Traffic Prevention Act and Sections 506, 341, 342, 506 R/w Sec. 34 of IPC .)
The petitioner has sought for quashing of entire proceedings against him in C.C.51558/2015 on the file of X ACMM at Mayo Hall, Bengaluru registered against him by H.A.L. police station for the offences punishable under Sections 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9 of Prevention of Immoral Traffic Act (for short, ‘ITP’ Act) and Sections 506, 341, 342, 506 R/w Sec. 34 of IPC.
2. The brief factual matrix that emanate from the record are that the police inspector, H.A.L. Police Station has registered the case against the petitioner in Cr.No. 475/2012 on the allegation that on 06.12.2012, Deputy Superintendent of Police, CID, Bengaluru on credible information, had been to Manjunath Nagar, 11th Cross, Sy.No.755/2, Muncipal Khatha No.3, wherein they found that, the accused and some people were indulging in prostitution and some people were running brothel there and they have arrested some persons and seized certain articles.
3. The specific allegation against this petitioner is that he was also in the said brothel as a customer. He was found with one of the victim girl engaged in sexual activity, except that it appears there is no allegation in the charge sheet against this petitioner. This petitioner is arrayed as accused No.6 in the said criminal case for the aforesaid offences. There are no allegations so far as this petitioner is concerned so as to attract other offences of Indian Penal Code. On careful perusal of the entire chargesheet, when there are no allegation against this petitioner even to attract the ITP Act, in my opinion the petitioner is entitled for the remedy as prayed for.
4. It is worth to refer to some of the decisions of this Court and other High Courts with regard to the liability of customer in brothel house.
(i) 2015(3) Crimes 281 (AP) ( Goenka Sajan Kumar Vs. State of A.P. Rep by P.P. high Court of A.P.]
(ii) Crl.P. No.7056/2014 [Mohammed Rafi Vs. State of Karnataka]
(iii) Crl. P. No. 7110/2011 [Suraj Vs. State of Karnataka]
(iv) Crl. P. 5808/2016 [Pravesh Chatri Vs. State of Karnataka]
(v) W.P. No.56504/2015 [Mahesh Hebbar @ Mahesh Vs. The Station House Officer, Banaswadi Police Station]
(vi) Crl.P. No.9682/2016 [ Aswath @ Naveen Vs. State of Karnataka]
(vii) Crl.P. 8055/2016 [ Raghavendra @ Raghu Vs. State of Karnataka]
(viii) Crl. P. No.200782/2016 [ Shivaraj Vs. State of Karnataka]
In all the above noted decisions, the Court has considered the above said points and it is observed that Sections 3, 4 & 5 of the ITP Act are not all attracted so far as the petitioners who are the customers of the brothel house.
5. It is evident from reading of the above provisions that,-
Section-3 of the Act is a section which provides punishment for keeping a brothel or allowing premises to be used as brothel.
Section-4 provides for punishment of living on the earnings of the prostitution.
Section-5 provides procuring, inducing or taking person for the sake of prostitution.
Section-7 applies to prostitution and in or in the vicinity of public place.
Therefore, the above said provisions are in no way attracted providing any punishment so far as the customer is concerned. Though it is felt by this court that the customer virtually encourages prostitution, and exploits the victim for money, but in the absence of any specific penal provision, it cannot be said that he is liable for any prosecution for the above said offences.
6. In view of the said decisions, the provisions invoked by the respondent police are in no way attracted so far as the act of the petitioner, who was a customer of the said brothel house, is concerned. Therefore, in the facts and circumstances of the present case also, I do not find any strong reason to differ from the said consistent view taken by this Court, hence, the following:
The petition is allowed. The entire proceedings in C.C. No.51558/2015 (FIR No.475/
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2012) pending on the file of the X Additional CMM, Mayo Hall, Bengaluru, (Now pending on the file of 43rd ACMM, Bengaluru) for the offences punishable under Sections 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9 of Immoral Traffic Prevention Act and Sections 506, 341, 342, 506 R/w Sec. 34 of IPC and all further proceedings therein is hereby quashed so far as petitioner is concerned. In view of disposal of the main petition, IA- 1/2017 for stay does not survive for consideration. Hence, IA-1/2017 is dismissed.