PIL in SC seeks directions to Centre, state govts against criminals involved in human trafficking, smuggling

·2-min read
Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India

New Delhi [India], June 12 (ANI): A PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking directions to the Central and State governments for appropriate steps to seize 100 per cent benami properties and disproportionate assets and invoke the National Security Act against the criminals, directly or indirectly involved in human trafficking and smuggling.

The PIL also sought direction to the Centre to examine international laws relating to trafficking and smuggling and take appropriate steps to insert a special chapter on these offences in the Indian Penal Code.

The petition filed by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay further asked to direct the Law Commission of India to prepare a report on human trafficking and smuggling within three months.

It added, "Human trafficking is a serious crime and a grave violation of human rights and sexual exploitation of children is worse than any other offence. However, due to weak outdated ineffective laws and deep-rooted corruption, human trafficking is continuing, not only for sexual exploitation, bonded labour, begging, and drug peddling-smuggling. Not only women and children but also men and transgender are subject to human trafficking."

The plea also said that Section 31 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) shall not apply to the penal provisions relating to human trafficking and smuggling and sentence for committing such crime shall be consecutive, not concurrent.

As per Section 31 of CrPC "When a person is convicted at one trial of two or more offences, the Court may sentence him for such offences, to the several punishments prescribed which such Court is competent to inflict; such punishments when consisting of imprisonment to commence the one after the expiration of the other in such order as the Court may direct unless the Court directs that such punishments shall run concurrently."

The petition said that "Human trafficking is the most inhumane, barbaric, heinous crime. It involves trading, buying, selling of human beings for the purpose of forced labour, slavery, commercial sexual exploitation and illegal trade of organs. It is a grave violation of human rights since it infringes and offends the fundamental right of right to life, liberty and dignity. Forced marriage also comes under the ambit of human trafficking." (ANI)

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