Reached Daily Limit?

Explore a new way of legal research!

Click Here
Indian Case Summary

Gaurav Jain vs Union Of India & Ors on 9 July, 1997 – Case Summary

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

In the case of Gaurav Jain vs Union Of India & Ors on 9 July 1997, the Supreme Court of India was called upon to address the plight of a specific class of women and their children, trapped in the flesh trade and stigmatized as prostitutes. The case was brought before the court by a public-spirited advocate, Gaurav Jain, who filed the writ petitions on behalf of these women and their children, asserting their rights to be free citizens, to not be trapped again, and to be readjusted through economic empowerment, social justice, and self-sustenance.

Facts of the Case

The case was initiated in response to an article titled “A Red light trap: Society gives no chance to prostitutes’ offspring” published in ‘India Today’ on July 11, 1988. The article highlighted the plight of the children of prostitutes, who were often trapped in the same cycle of exploitation as their mothers. Gaurav Jain, moved by the article, sought to improve the conditions of these unfortunate women and their progeny. He initially asked for separate educational institutions for the children of these women, but the Court, after hearing all the State Governments and Union Territories, observed that segregating these children would not be in their best interest or the society at large. Instead, the Court directed that they should be segregated from their mothers and allowed to mingle with others to become a part of society.

Issues Raised

The primary questions raised in this case were: what are the rights of the children of prostitutes, how can they be segregated from their mothers and others to provide them protection, care, and rehabilitation in the mainstream of national life? And as a facet of it, what should be the scheme to eradicate prostitution, i.e., the source itself; and what succor and sustenance can be provided to the victims of the flesh trade?

Court’s Observations

The Court observed that the victims of the flesh trade are often the poor, illiterate, and ignorant sections of society who are exploited by richer communities in an organized gangsterism, often with police nexus. The Court recognized that these women and their children are subjected to inhuman treatment, social isolation, and deprivation of their right to live a normal life. The Court also acknowledged the growing body of opinion advocating the need to treat these women not as criminals but as victims of circumstances and to bring them into the mainstream of the social order without any attached stigma.

The Court referred to various articles of the Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Convention on the Right of the Child to emphasize the rights of these women and their children. The Court highlighted that these women and their children are entitled to equality, dignity, protection, and rehabilitation. The Court also emphasized the need for the State to take appropriate measures to ensure the development of institutions, facilities, and services for the care of children.

The Court concluded that the case calls for a careful and meaningful consideration with diverse perspectives, to decide the problems in the light of constitutional and human rights and directions given to the executive to effectuate them on the administrative side effectively so that those rights become real and meaningful to them.