Maharashtra: Sessions court upholds order to detain HIV positive woman in protection home

A sessions court has upheld a lower court’s order to detain a woman, rescued allegedly from prostitution, in a protection home for two years as she is likely to ‘pose a danger to the society’ due to her HIV positive status, among other factors.

An appeal filed by the woman’s father said she was arrested in August by the police under the Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act due to a misunderstanding. The plea further said that the magistrate directed her two-year detention in a protection home only because she is HIV positive.

The appeal further said the woman is an actor and her father is a police officer. It said that the family has the financial ability to maintain her and her detention in a protection home is not required. The appeal also cited a Bombay High Court judgment where a victim was directed to be released from a corrective institution stating that an adult woman cannot be kept in one against her wishes.

The sessions court said the FIR reveals that prima facie the victim was rescued due to her involvement in prostitution.

“As the victim is undisputedly suffering from HIV, which can be easily transmitted through sexual intercourse, the setting of the victim at large is likely to pose danger to the society, due to which, the factual scenario in the case at hand is different from the factual scenario in the above authority relied upon (the HC order). The care and protection of the victim can also be ensured, by detaining her, as directed by the learned magistrate, so as to ensure that the victim leads a normal life in future, after getting necessary brainwash (sic),” the court said.

It added that there was no substance in the submission made on behalf of the victim that she will not indulge in any ‘immoral activities’ since she is financially sound. The court held that the magistrate’s court order did not require any interference and dismissed the appeal.

Under the PITA Act, a magistrate, after an inquiry, can order detention of a person for not more than three years in a protective home.

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