SYLLABUS SECTION: GS II (SOCIAL ISSUES)
WHY IN THE NEWS?
In a recent order, Supreme Court recognises sex work as a profession and ordered police to treat sex workers with dignity.
OBSERVATIONS AND ORDERS OF THE COURT:
After invoking special powers under Article 142 of the Constitution court gave the following orders:
1) Right to Dignified Life:
- Notwithstanding the profession, every individual in this country has a right to a dignified life, and under Article 21 of the Constitution, and so is the sex worker.
2) Equal Protection of the Law:
- Sex workers are entitled to equal protection under the law from now onwards when Supreme Court recognises sex work as a profession.
- Criminal law must apply equally in all cases, on the basis of ‘age’ and ‘consent’.
3) Protection of human decency and dignity extends to sex workers and their children
- Whenever there is a raid on any brothel sex workers should not be arrested or penalized or harassed or victimized since voluntary sex work is not illegal and only running the brothel is unlawful.
- A child of a sex worker should not be separated from the mother merely on the ground that she is in the sex trade, the court held.
- If a minor is found living in a brothel or with sex workers, it should not be presumed that the child was trafficked.
- In the case of the claims of a son/daughter, tests can be done to determine to know the truth.
4) To Police:
- If the sex worker is an adult and is participating with consent, the police can not interfere or take any criminal action against her.
- Police cannot discriminate against sex workers who lodge a criminal complaint, related to an offense sexual in nature.
- Sex workers who are victims of sexual assault should be provided with every facility including immediate medicolegal care.
5) To Media:
- The media should take “utmost care not to reveal the identities of sex workers, during arrest, raid and rescue operations, whether as victims or accused.
- Do not publish or telecast any photos that would result in the disclosure of identities.
· On the Report of Article 142 of the Constitution, the Supreme Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction may pass such a decree or make such order as is necessary for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it.
· In the Report of Article 142 of the Constitution gives unlimited power to Supreme Court to do complete justice in cases where the litigants have suffered injustices during the proceedings.
· Through Report of Article 142, also gave the Governor of a state the power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites, or remissions of punishment or to suspend remit, or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offense against any law relating to a matter to which the executive power of the State extends.
When had Supreme Court used Article 142?
· 1989 Union Carbide matter
· 2019 Ayodhya Ram Mandir verdict.
· The Supreme Court put in place a ban on a distance of 500 meters by invoking Article 142.
· During the Bhopal gas tragedy case, it had also ordered the US-based Union Carbide Corporation to pay $470 million compensation to the victims.
Read more: UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS
Source: The Hindu