A sessions court has acquitted two persons including a woman, booked in 2014 for forcing women into prostitution. The court found that there was no woman police personnel present during the raid on a brothel in Grant Road in 2014, a mandatory requirement under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act.
The accused’s advocate had pointed out that section 15 (6A) of the Act had been violated. It mandates that the special police officer or trafficking police officer shall be accompanied by at least two women police officers during a raid and if a woman removed from such a place is to be interrogated, it can be done only by a woman police officer.
If a woman police officer is not available, then the woman is to be interrogated in the presence of a lady from a recognised welfare organisation. In the present case, the court said there is non-compliance. It said the prosecution has admitted that at the time of the raid, a lady police officer was not present and there is no evidence that a woman associated with any social organisation was present either.
It noted that the statement of one of the victims removed from the brothel was recorded by a male police officer. The court acquitted Hema Geddam and Rajesh Yadav, 36. The case against a third accused was separated as he was absconding and not traceable.
As per the case at D B Marg police station, Geddam was running the brothel at Simplex building, Grant Road and girls brought from different parts of the country were forced into prostitution there. On Jan 22, 2014, a decoy customer was sent during the raid. The police found that flesh trade was being carried out there and three girls who were forcibly engaged in it were rescued.