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Both female and male prostitution be legalised to prevent HIV/AIDS
Satbir Singh Bedi | 30 Apr 2014

One Buldhana based Raju Girnare was accused of kidnapping, outraging the modesty of and raping a 14-year-old girl on May 17, 2009, in Buldhana after luring her with promise of marriage. After a complaint by her father, the police arrested and charge-sheeted him under Sections 363, 366 and 376 of Indian Penal Code (IPC). The ad hoc additional sessions judge in Buldhana convicted and sentenced Girnare to seven years' rigorous imprisonment for rape and five years for kidnapping on February 23, 2012.


 
Girnare approached the high court appealing for lesser punishment under proviso to Section 376(1) of IPC contending he was a HIV positive patient and had two growing children, including a 13-year-old girl, to look after. The court, however, noted that his children were already being looked after by other family members as he was in custody from the date of arrest. Therefore, there is no occasion for the children to suffer.
 
 
 "As far as the disease of the appellant is concerned, it is most probably invited by himself for which no leniency can be shown. HIV can be treated by regular visits to the hospital or consultation with the medical officer of the prison. Such facilities are provided in the prison where authorities are always mindful of the problems of the prisoners, particularly those who are suffering from severe diseases," Justice Tahaliyani observed while upholding Buldhana court's verdict. However, the Court could have looked from the angle of the interest of the victim as well. Did the victim was informed or counselled about the possibility of she, being getting infected, is she offered post exposure prophylaxis?  Did the court considered the possibility of the victim also getting infected through rape and fating this in the judgement?
 
This shows that Courts do not apply full minds to a case. Now let us take a reverse look.  Girnare also got the disease from a prostitute who knew that she was suffering from HIV but as a matter of revenge wanted her customers to too die from HIV. It is, therefore, imperative upon the Government to legalise the process of prostitution and quarantine all cases of HIV/AIDS who may be admitted to a suitable Hospital at Government expense.  Not only female prostitution but male prostitution should also be legalised for this purpose.  Only this would put a stop to the occurence of HIV/AIDS.  In most of the countries, the prostitution is legalised and they have very few cases of HIV/AIDS.