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Bombay High Court
Emperor vs Lalya Bapu Jadhav on 18 January, 1929
Equivalent citations: (1929) 31 BOMLR 521, 117 Ind Cas 336
Author: Mirza
Bench: Mirza, Murphy


Mirza, J.

1. The finding of the learned Magistrate is that the accused applicant along with the original two accused and one Fakirya brought down the girl Parvati alias Shivi from Thana to Bombay and took her to the brothel of one Bhagirthi. It is contended on behalf of the applicant that Parvati was already a prostitute before she was brought down to Bombay and hence in law no offence was committed. The words in Section 7 of Bombay Act XI of 1923 are “becoming a prostitute.” A person who is already a prostitute, it is contended, cannot be said to become one afterwards, The evidence of Parvati’s prostitution on which reliance is placed is that whilst she was in Thana she was in the keep of a G.I.P. Railway porter for about four years and during that time she also had a paramour. Such facts, in our opinion, are not sufficient to constitute a woman a prostitute. The idea underlying prostitution is that a woman should surrender her body for a monetary consideration to some one who is not in law entitled to have sexual intercourse with her, The position of a mistress is not necessarily that of a prostitute. The relationship is of a more permanent nature than the casual relationship implied in prostitution. Having a stray paramour would not in our opinion constitute a woman a prostitute, Mr. Babrekar has also relied upon the distinction between a common prostitute and an ordinary prostitute. According to his contention an ordinary prostitute is one who leads an unchaste life and a common prostitute is one who is available to any man who pays a price for her virtue. We do not agree that such a distinction is contemplated by Bombay Act XI of 1923. The matter, in our opinion, appears to rest more on degree than on kind. The evidence does not establish that Parvati was a prostitute before she was brought down to Bombay. In our opinion the Magistrate’s judgment is correct and this application fails. The application is rejected and the conviction and sentence confirmed. The accused must surrender to his bail-bond and serve the remainder of the sentence.

Murphy, J.

2. I agree.

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