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Smt. Prem Vs. District Magistrate, Meerut and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Misc. Case No. 1862 of 1958
Judge
Reported inAIR1959All206; 1959CriLJ286
ActsSuppression of Immoral Traffic in Women and Girls Act, 1956 - Sections 16(1); Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) , 1898 - Sections 5, 5(2) and 65
AppellantSmt. Prem
RespondentDistrict Magistrate, Meerut and anr.
Appellant AdvocateD.P. Mittal, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateH.N. Seth, Asstt. Govt. Adv.
DispositionPetition dismissed
Excerpt:
.....the affidavit of the magistrate it is perfectly clear that the petitioner was not arrested by any police officer but that she had been arrested by the magistrate himself, though the magistrate apparently had some police officers along with him for purposes of his own protection and assistance in case of any emergency. 6. the two points of fact mentioned above having been clearly established, learned counsel for the petitioner contended that even on these facts the petitioner's detention was illegal. the order which the learned magistrate made and which we have quoted in an earlier part of this judgment clearly indicated that he was going to exercise the right of making the. 8. we are of the opinion, therefore, that the magistrate was perfectly within his rights to make the arrest that..........the petitioner was that her arrest was illegal inasmuch as, she had not been arrested by a special police officer appointed as such under the provisions of the act. on the averments made on behalf of the petitioner it appears that she had been arrested by the ordinary police and not by a special police officer as provided for under the act.4. a counter-affidavit was filed on behalf of the state by shiv nath sharma, who was the city magistrate of meerut and also the sub-divisional magistrate of that area. according to the affidavit of the magistrate it is clear that the petitioner was arrested by the magistrate himself and not by any other person or any police officer. from the magistrate's affidavit it is clear that on 20-7-1958, the magistrate got information from the station officer of.....
Judgment:

B. Mukerji, J.

1. This is a petition by Srimati Prem under Article 226 of the Constitution praying for the issue of a writ in the nature of habeas corpus.

2. According to the averments of the petitioner, she is a young woman of 24 years carrying on the profession of dancing and singing and that she carried on this profession in her house situate in Kabari Bazar in the city of Meerut. On 20-7-1958, the petitioner states, she was taken into custody by the police of Meerut and thereafter sent to a women's protective home at Rajpur in the town of Dehra Dun. The petitioner further alleges that the police purported to act under Sections 16 and 17 of the Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Women and Girls Act, 1956 (Act No. 104 of 1956) which was passed by the Central Government and which came into force on 1-5-1958. The petitioner has challenged that she is amenable to be dealt with under the aforementioned Act because, according to her, she is aged 24 years and as such she could not be dealt with under the provisions of the Act as the Act, according to the petitioner, could only deal with women or girls who were under the age of 21 years.

3. The main contention, however, of the petitioner was that her arrest was illegal inasmuch as, she had not been arrested by a special police officer appointed as such under the provisions of the Act. On the averments made on behalf of the petitioner it appears that she had been arrested by the ordinary police and not by a special police officer as provided for under the Act.

4. A counter-affidavit was filed on behalf of the State by Shiv Nath Sharma, who was the City Magistrate of Meerut and also the Sub-Divisional Magistrate of that area. According to the affidavit of the Magistrate it is clear that the petitioner was arrested by the Magistrate himself and not by any other person or any police officer. From the Magistrate's affidavit it is clear that on 20-7-1958, the Magistrate got information from the Station Officer of Kotwali Police Station, Meerut, that some girls were being kept for prostitition in a brothel at Kabari Bazar and Nil-Ki-Gali in the city of Meerut. On receipt of the aforementioned information the learned Magistrate passed the following order:

'As no special police officer has yet been appointed for this district, I shall myself exercise the powers under section 16 of the Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Women and Girls Act. I shall raid the brothel at 9 p. m. today. S. O. Kotwali will please provide necessary help.'

In accordance with the aforementioned order the Magistrate made the 'raid' and recovered 10 girls, including the petitioner, from various homes of disrepute. After the recovery the learned Magistrate gave the petitioner an opportunity to say what she had to and after hearing her the Magistrate made the following order:--

'I have heard Km. Prem Kumari. She contends that she is carrying on the profession of dancing and singing and that she is not being made to carry on prostitution. She also contends that she is more than 21 years of age. Since this girl is apparently a minor and since her residence in a brothel raises a strong presumption of her carrying/ on the profession of a prostitute, her medical examination shall be necessary to clear both these points. Let the girl be sent to the Civil Surgeon as soon as convenient for her medical examination. Till her medical examination is completed and till the inquiry contemplated under Section 17(2) of the Act is concluded the girl shall be kept in the after-care-home for women, run bythe Social Welfare department at Begum Bagh Meerut.'

The petitioner was examined by the Medical Officer Incharge of the Dufferin Hospital, Meerut who submitted a report which showed that the petitioner was about 19 years of age and further that she had been used to sexual intercourse. After the receipt of this report and before further enquiry could be completed the Magistrate thought it desirable to have the petitioner shifted to the Girls' Protection Home at Dehra Dun where apparently she is now residing.

5. From the affidavit of the Magistrate it is perfectly clear that the petitioner was not arrested by any police officer but that she had been arrested by the Magistrate himself, though the Magistrate apparently had some police officers along with him for purposes of his own protection and assistance in case of any emergency. From the Magistrate's affidavit it is further clear that the petitioner is now suffering detention for enabling a proper enquiry to be conducted as contemplated by the provisions of the above-mentioned Act.

6. The two points of fact mentioned above having been clearly established, learned counsel for the petitioner contended that even on these facts the petitioner's detention was illegal. Learned counsel contended that under the provisions of the Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Women and Girls Act nobody save a special police officer appointed under the Act had the power to make an arrest and it was contended that the learned Magistrate not having been appointed such a special police officer could not make the arrest. The other point that was raised was that there being no provision in the Act. for the interim custody of a person arrested under the provisions of the Act. the petitioner's interim custody or detention pending enquiry under Section 17 was illegal.

7. It is true that the Act does not, in so many words confer the power of making the arrest under the provisions of the Act on the Magistrate but on the wordings of Section 16 it is clear that an arrest can be made under the directions of Magistrate. Section 16(1) is in these words:

'Where a magistrate has reason to believe, from information received from the police or otherwise, that a girl apparently under the age of twenty-one years, is living, or is carrying on, or is being made to carry on prostitution, in a brothel, he may direct the special police officer to enter such brothel, and to remove therefrom such girl and produce her before him.'

Sub-section (2) of section 16 is in these words:

'The special police officer after removing the girl shall forthwith produce her before the magistrate issuing the order'

The provisions of Section 16(1) are not mandatory: they are directory. The Magistrate has the power under that sub-section to direct the special police officer to make an arrest but that does not, in our opinion, take away the power of the Magistrate to make the arrest himself -- a power which is conferred on a Magistrate by Section 65 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Section 65 of the Code is in these words:

'Any Magistrate may at any time arrest or direct the arrest, m his presence, within the local limits of his jurisdiction, of any person for whose arrest he is competent at the time and in the circumstances to issue a warrant.'

Under the provisions of Section 16(1) of the Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Women and Girls Act the Magistrate was competent to issue a warrant for the arrest of the petitioner. Therefore, under the provi-sions of Section 65 of the Code of Criminal Procedure he certainly was competent to make the arrest himself. The order which the learned Magistrate made and which we have quoted in an earlier part of this judgment clearly indicated that he was going to exercise the right of making the. arrest himself because there was no special police officer who could act in that area for none had been appointed by the appropriate Government.

Although the Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Women and Girls Act, 1956, was more or less a self-contained enactment, yet where that enactment did not make specific provision in regard to matters of procedure, in respect of such matters the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure were to apply by virtue of Section 5(2) of the Code, for Section 5(2) of the Code is in these words:

'All offences under any other law shall be investigated, inquired into, tried and otherwise dealt with according to the same provisions, but subject to any enactment for the time being in force regulating the manner or place of investigating, inquiring into, trying or otherwise dealing with such offences.'

No authority was cited on behalf of the petitioner or any cogent reason offered why Section 5(2) of the Code did not apply and why the Magistrate could not exercise his powers of arrest as conferred on him by Section 65 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

8. We are of the opinion, therefore, that the Magistrate was perfectly within his rights to make the arrest that he did of the petitioner and therefore the petitioner's arrest was in no sense illegal.

9. We now turn to the question, whether the interim detention, so to speak, of the petitioner pending enquiry under Section 17 of the Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Women and Girls Act was justified or not: further, whether that detention was legal or not. Section 17 of the Act is in these words;

'(1) When the special police officer removing a girl under Sub-section (4) of Section 15 or rescuing a girl under Sub-section (1) of Section 16, fails to produce her immediately before the magistrate as required by Sub-section (5) of Section 15 or Sub-section (2) of Section 16, he shall forthwith produce her before the nearest magistrate of any class, who shall pass such orders as he deems proper for her safe custody until she is produced before the appropriate magistrate, (2) When the girl is produced before the appropriate Magistrate he shall, after giving the girl an opportunity of being heard, cause an inquiry to be made as to the correctness of the information received under Sub-section (1) of Section 16 and the age of the girl and, if satisfied that the information received is correct and the girl is under the age of twenty-one-years, he may, subject to the provisions of the next Sub-section, make an order that such girl be detained for such period as may be specified in the order, in a protective home or such other custody as he, for reasons to be recorded in writing, shall consider suitable: Provided that such custody shall not be that of person, or body of persons, of a religious persuasion different from that of the girl.'

It is clear that there is no specific provision in the Act for an order to be made in regard to the interim custody, that is to say, that custody which is necessary before the matter which needs enquiry under the provisions of the Act can be enquired into and decided upon by the Magistrate.

It is, however, perfectly clear that where there is power vested to do something, then with that power necessarily goes the further power to do all such ancillary acts as are necessary for giving full effect to that power. Reference in this connection may be made to Halsbury's Laws of England, Vol. 31 (Second Edition), page 501, paragraph 642:

'Ubi aliquid eonceditur, concediture etiain et id sine quo res ipsa non esse potest. A duty imposed or a power granted by Parliament carries with it the power necessary for its performance or execution. Similarly, an authority given by a statute to do certain work authorises the doing not only of all things absolutely necessary for its execution, but of all things reasonably necessary. This is especially the case with enabling Acts.'

Similar is the statement of law to be found in Craw-ford Statutory Construction (1940 Edition), page 266. The passage on which reliance may be placed is in these words:

'The implications and intendments arising from, the language of a statute are as much a part of it as if they had been expressed. But it is only necessary implications which may thus be read into the statute. Mere desirability or plausibility alone will not meet the test.'

Another expression in Crawford Statutory Construction at page 267, which also gives a clear indication to the same effect, is this:

'In a broad sense, true implications are as much a part of the language which makes up the statute as the meanings of the various words are a part of it.'

A similar view was taken in this Court in Vasu Deo Ojha v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 1958 All LJ 46 at p. 53: (AIR 1958 All 578 at p. 583)

10. It is clear that in this case the interim detention was absolutely essential because no proper enquiry could be conducted under Section 17 of the Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Women and Girls Act unless and until there was, apparently, time to collect the necessary evidence that was to be placed before the Magistrate conducting the enquiry. Further, the detainee also required time to place the materials on which she relied. Therefore, in this case interim custody had to be made. The petitioner could not be let loose in the same surroundings because being there would be, at any rate, prima facie violation of the provisions of the Act. So that, on the principles to which we have referred earlier, interim custody in this case had for necessity to be read within the power which had already been conferred on a Magistrate to make the enquiry.

11. We are, therefore, of the opinion that the interim custody of the petitioner also was legal and justified.

12. For the reasons given above, we have seen no force in this petition which we accordingly dismiss, but in the circumstances of the case we make no order as to the costs thereof.

13. In the end we express the hope that thelearned Magistrate would act with expedition andfinish the enquiry as soon as is practicable.


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