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the immoral traffic prevention act which deals with prostitution laws has some provisons specifically

Section 5 of the above Act states:

Procuring, inducing or taking person for the sake of prostitution.--

(1) any person who--

  • (a) procures or attempts to procure a person, whether with or without his consent, for the purpose of prostitution; or

  • (b) induces a person to go from any place, with the intent that he may for the purpose of prostitution become the inmate of, or frequent, a brothel; or

  • (c) takes or attempts to take a person, or causes a person to be taken, from one place to another with a view to his carrying on, or being brought up to carry on prostitution; or

  • (d) causes or induces a person to carry on prostitution;

By this definition if someone compels another into extortion and the person who is being extorted doesn't have money so they resort to prostitutuon. would the extorter be held liable under this act as well especially when they are negligent to this or find it amusing intending it and still continue harassing a woman into doing it or know it to be likely that they are doing prostitution but don't care and still put more pressure on the victim while openly joking about it ? what if the victim is underprivileged and means like threat or act of eviction from their home(if the extorter is a landlord) and the means used are things like threat of eviction and would this fall under rape as well ?

case going something like this

X uses extortion on Y by threatening to evict Y , Y becomes a prostitute , X either doesn't care or finds it amusing and continues doing it for entertainment

would they be guilty of this ? what charges could such person face ?

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2 Answers 2

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Traditionally "procure" in this sense means to compel another to act as a prostitute, to induce another to act as a prostitute by whatever means, or to provide to a person who wants to patronize a prostitute an opportunity to do so, whether the prostitute is willing or not. Whether a procurer uses extortion or some other means to compel or induce someone to act as a prostitute, whether the procurer is amused or spiteful or has some other attitude, none of those would be relevant to the above-quotes law. The essential thing is that the procurer has in fact caused another to enter into prostitution, or has caused or induced such a person to go from one place to another for the purpose of prostitution. That is enough that the procurer can be found guilty of this crime.

However, if A simply puts financial pressure on B (whether lawful or unlawful) and B responds by taking up prostitution, when A had no such intent, this law would, I think, not apply, although other laws might.

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Merely causing a women or her family to be in a state of economic distress knowing that one foreseeable outcome of that economic distress is that the woman, or a woman in the family placed in a state of economic distress may resort to prostitution as a result of the generalized economic hardship is almost certainly insufficient to constitute a crime under this section of the law.

Section 5(1)(d) does say that one may be guilty of the crime if one "causes . . . a person to carry on prostitution" and it wouldn't be ungrammatical to read to mean that causing economic distress that causes someone to resort to prostitution on their own is sufficient.

But, in the context of the statute as a whole, the meaning is not just "but for" causation of someone carrying on prostitution. Instead, the meaning is to cause someone to carry on prostitution rather than doing someone else that they would otherwise have done to meet their economic needs.

As the very title of the offense of "procuring, inducing or taking person for the sake of prostitution" implies, the offender must either be a pimp, or must be conspiring (or planning to conspire) personally with a pimp (or someone working for a pimp) or John (i.e. prostitution customer) to be guilty of the offense.

A procurer doesn't have to engage in extortion, but does have to have a genuine connection to the victim being directed to becoming a prostitute in particular, by implication, with some particular pimp or John (i.e. prostitution customer), rather than doing something else, to deal with their economic distress.

If someone threatens to evict someone for a reason that they are legally allowed to evict someone, it isn't extortion at all. It is merely the legal exercise of a property right of the landlord which is not limited by the fact that it creates economic hardship on the part of someone whose lease ended or who failed to pay their rent or otherwise violated their lease terms.

If someone threatens to evict someone for an improper reason, then the usual remedy would be to dispute the grounds for eviction in court in an eviction lawsuit, and if someone engages in impropriety in the court process to seek relief by proving that improper manipulation of the court process through perjury, bribery, or whatever other means are used to distort the court process. But, this still isn't procurement.

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  • I think it's worth mentioning that Indian judiciary is very inconsistent when it comes to crimes like this. for example sexual consent given because of a misconception of fact (false promise of marriage) being rape here.
    – user49663
    Feb 23, 2023 at 12:48
  • @IndianLawApplicant I don't really disagree, but what you've asked in this question really amounts to a narrow straightforward statutory interpretation question. The potential interpretation suggested in the question is just, on its face, very implausible and could potentially criminalize vast numbers of perfectly innocent and state sanctions debt collection methods. So, that interpretation is extremely unlikely to be adopted by any judge in India (and to be overturned on appeal promptly if it is adopted).
    – ohwilleke
    Feb 23, 2023 at 16:38
  • what I mentioned isn't really debt recollection but actual extortion without the victim owing the accused anything. could your interpretation apply to that as well ? speaking of extortion can you answer this too plz law.stackexchange.com/q/89421/49072
    – user49663
    Feb 24, 2023 at 1:32
  • @IndianLawApplicant The last paragraph of the answer addresses the the issue of the victim not actually owing anything.
    – ohwilleke
    Feb 24, 2023 at 2:35
  • what if there is an intent to cause a situation where the victim resorts to prostitution ? and does this fall under devgan.in/ipc/section/370 or under section 375 (see this post here law.stackexchange.com/questions/89764/…)
    – user49663
    Feb 26, 2023 at 11:12

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