The Supreme Court on Thursday made it clear that its mandate to the Central and state governments on drafting schemes for the welfare and rehabilitation of sex workers should not be construed as encouraging prostitution. A Bench of Justices Altamas Kabir and Gyan Sudha Misra clarified this while modifying the SCs previous order,which had directed a court-appointed panel to suggest measures on conditions conducive for sex workers,who wish to continue working,with dignity.
It was one of the three terms of references for the panel,as suggested by advocate Jayant Bhushan,amicus curiae in the case. The other two questions for reference included prevention of trafficking and rehabilitation of sex workers,who wish to leave sex work.
The court accepted the Centres application to modify its order so as to allay the fear that its directive could give an impression of validating prostitution as a legally recognised profession. This order (dated July 19,last year) shall not be construed that as any encouragement is being given to prostitution, said the Bench. It said the directive on making conditions conducive for them to live with dignity shall stand as it is.