A group of ministers (GoM) headed by Home Minister Shivraj Patil has given the go-ahead to penalising clients in order to curb prostitution in the country.Visiting a brothel could land a person in jail and invite a penalty of up to Rs.50,000. .
The GoM approved an amendment, pending for the last two years, to the Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act at its last meeting in June. The amendment has a provision of jail term and heavy penalties for the clients of prostitutes who were so far kept out of the ambit of prosecution.
As per the amendment, clients will be handed a jail term of three months or penalty of Rs.20,000 or both for their first offence. The repeat offenders will invite a penalty of Rs.50,000 or a jail term of six months.
India has nearly 2.5 million prostitutes operating out of nearly 300,000 brothels in 1,100 red light areas across the country.