Nagpur: The Ganga Jamuna imbroglio on Tuesday took a new turn as the Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court treated a petition filed by a social worker praying for lifting police ban on the red light area as a Public Interest Litigation (PIL).
The social worker Mukesh Shahu has challenged the August 25 notification by Commissioner of Police Amitesh Kumar prohibiting flesh trade within 200 metres of public places in Ganga Jamuna (Red Light) area.
The petition, filed through counsels Adv Chandrashekhar Sakhare and Adv Priti Phadake, said that the notification violated the fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14, 19 of the Constitution of India. The right to reside in the rooms of the notified areas is a fundamental right of the prostitutes/sex workers and they cannot be prevented from occupying their residence except in accordance with the law, it added. Just because these women are in the prostitution, it did not deprive them of their right to life and liberty, prostitution per se, was not a criminal offence and it was only when a prostitute operated within the notified area, the offence was committed. Therefore, prostitutes can reside in the notified area and have a right to carry on their trade outside the notified area, the petitioner stated.
The petitioner prayed the High Court to quash and set aside the notification issued by the CP and direct the respondents (Police/government) to permit the prostitutes of the notified area to move freely and without any restrain or constraint and desist the respondents from entering into their rooms of the prostitutes without their permission or warrant. The division bench of Justice Sunil Shukre and Justice Anil Pansare directed registration of the petition as a PIL and placed the matter for further review on November 17.