Forbidden pleasures

Following a tip-off from locals, the police has carried out raids in three guest houses in the capital and arrested 22 persons on charges of being involved in prostitution. Reportedly, the guest houses proffered sex services to their customers. According to the police, those arrested were caught while they were involved in sexual activities. Despite Home Minister Bamdev Gautam’s recent directive that all dance restaurants be closed, which was also followed by several raids, sex trade continues. It is also surprising that the owners of the hotels and restaurants who actually promote sex trade are seldom punished.

Moreover, the police in their occasional raids arbitrarily arrest and detain people without any concrete evidence. The law provides that no person can be detained for more than 24 hours without being produced before a court. Also, no person can be detained and punished for the same offence twice. On the other hand, the law does not consider consensual, not-for-money sex an offence except in certain circumstances like incest. However, the police on several occasions have been known to arrest people on basis of mere suspicion. This is a blatant breach of fundamental rights of the people. If law-enforcement officials, too, violate the legal provisions, they should also be liable to punishment. Sadly, this aspect has been ignored so far.