In a recent ruling by the Andhra Pradesh High Court, the single judge bench struck off the case against a man who was arrested by the police for being caught at a prostitution site in 2020. He was hauled into criminal proceedings, which were later challenged in the court. Justice D Ramesh of the AP High Court heard a petition and issued the verdict on Tuesday, 4 May 2022.
The Andhra Pradesh HC observed that customers of prostitution cannot be arrested, but those who run the brothel and those who rent out the house for such activities can be arrested by the police. The petitioner CH Raj Kumar, was arrested by Nagarampalam police during a raid conducted on a brothel house in Guntur District in 2020. He was framed as the customer at the brothel and criminal charges were framed against him.
Raj Kumar moved the AP High Court challenging the proceedings against him. He mentioned that similar cases were settled by other courts in the country. He argued that a customer who visits a brothel by paying money cannot be prosecuted, and said that any charges filed against him will be illegal and an abuse of the process of courts.
Considering the valid points laid out by the petitioner, Justice D Ramesh struck off the case on the basis of the earlier precedence set by the courts of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. He quashed the proceedings against the petitioner and set him free.
The Karnataka High Court in a recent ruling in April this year, on a similar case stated that a customer who is found at a brothel during a raid cannot be dragged into criminal proceedings on the basis of offences of immoral trafficking.
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