Over four days, the IJM team at Mumbai collaborated with two local police stations to conduct...
Court orders brothel closure and sentences brothel keepers to three years imprisonment
On 20th April 2016, Mumbai Sessions Court ordered the closure of a brothel and sentenced the two brothel keepers to three years of rigorous imprisonment.
VP Road Police Station arrested the first perpetrator in a February 2013 operation at a PB Marg brothel while rescuing two young women. This operation was led by ACP Rajendra Chavan (at the time, Senior Police Inspector of VP Road) and Investigating Officer Gulabrao Gore, in coordination with International Justice Mission (IJM) - an NGO working with police to protect the poor from violent forms of injustice.
One of the rescued victims then identified the second perpetrator at a Bhandup brothel where she had been previously held. The perpetrator was subsequently arrested, and four girls were rescued from this brothel.
Judge Vrushali V. Joshi of Mumbai Sessions Court sentenced the perpetrators to three years of rigorous imprisonment and ordered them to pay a fine of Rs 3,000 each. They were convicted under Sections 3 and 4 of the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act (ITPA) 1956. In addition, the judge ordered Brothel Closure and Victim Compensation from the State Government (through DLSA) under section 357 A Cr. P.C.
The testimony of the victim who had identified the second perpetrator proved integral in convicting the perpetrators. “It’s my wish that the girls who are inside [the brothels] should come out,” she says, “and that brothel keepers should be punished.”
She had been trafficked many years earlier from Bangalore. A man at Majestic bus stop had promised her a job and slipped drugs into her tea, rendering her unconscious. When she awoke, she was on a bus in Mumbai. As it turned out, she had been sold into the hands of the convicted brothel keeper.
The young woman who identified the perpetrator is now happy to be free and is receiving vocational training. The other rescued woman has been repatriated back to her home state.
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