JUDGEMENT

Patel, J. - (1.)These revisional applications have been referred to the Bench as they involve the important question of the vires of Section 20 of the Suppression of Immoral Traffic In Women and Girls Act, 1956. In all these cases the Sub-Divisionai Magistrate, Sholapur Division, has directed that the petitioners who are alleged to be prostitutes should remove themselves front the town of Barsi and that they should go to Osmanabad Via Yedshi within three days from the date set by him.
(2.)Now, Section 20 of the Act enables the Magistrate to record the substance of the information received end issue a notice to the woman or girl residing In or frequenting any place within the local limits of his jurisdiction to show cause. Sub-section (3) says that if upon such inquiry it appears to the Magistrate that such woman or girl is a prostitute and that it is necessary in the interests of the general public that such woman or girl should be required to remove herself therefrom and be prohibited from re-entering the same, the Magistrate shall by order in writing direct her to remove herself from the place to such place whether within or without the local limits of his jurisdiction, by such route or routes and within such time as may be specified in the order and also prohibited her from re-entering the place without the permission in writing of the Magistrate having Jurisdiction over such place.
(3.)It is argued by Mr. Lalit that this section is Ultra Vires the powers of the Legislature and is hit by Article 14 as well as by Article 19(1) (d) and (e). He argued that the section gives arbitrary power to a Magistrate to remove any prostitute he chooses without laying down any guiding principles and therefore it is hit by Article 14. So far as Article 19(1) (d), (e) is concerned, he says that his clients have, as any other citizens have, the right to move freely throughout the territory of India and to reside and settle In any part of India and since the section curtails that right, it is Ultra Vires. According to him, though Clause (5) of Article 19 enables reasonable restriction to be imposed, restrictions imposed by the provisions of Section 20 are not reasonable for the reason that the remedy intended to be provided by the powers given to the Magistrate is not commensurate with the evil that was intended to be met by the Act.


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