//Those visiting brothels also to be punished

Those visiting brothels also to be punished

New Delhi, May 22: The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2006, which provides for stringent punishment to traffickers and those visiting brothels for sexual exploitation, was introduced in the Lok Sabha today.

The bill, introduced by Women and Child Welfare Minister Renuka Chowdhury, seeks to amend the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 and the Prevention of Money-Laundering Act, 2002.

Those visiting brothels for the purpose of sexual exploitation will be punished on first conviction with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months or with a fine which may extend to Rs 20,000 or with both. In the event of second or subsequent conviction, imprisonment term may extend to six months and also a fine which extend to Rs 50,000.

The bill seeks to enhance the punishment for a person who keeps or manages or acts or assists in keeping or management of a brothel.

Such a person will be punishable on first conviction with rigorous imprisonment for a term of not less than two years which may extend to three years and also a fine which may extend to Rs 10,000. In the event of second conviction, the imprisonment term will not be less than three years which may extend to seven years and also a fine which may extend to Rs two lakh.

The bill also enhances the term of detention in a corrective institution from five years to seven years.

The bill also empowers the Centre and the state governments to constitute an authority at their level for effectively preventing and combating trafficking in persons.

It amends the definition of ''child'' to raise the age of child from 16 years to 18 years, and omit words ''minor'' and ''major'' wherever they occur in the act.

It gives powers of Special Police Officer under the act to the Sub-Inspector in the place of Inspector.

Textile Minister Shankersinh Vaghela introduced the National Jute Board Bill, 2006, which provides for the establishment of a national jute board for the development of the cultivation, manufacture and marketing of jute and jute products.

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