A couple of interesting court cases

The big one, from the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre whether it could legalize prostitution if it wasn’t possible to curb it.

“When you say it is the world’s oldest profession and when you are not able to curb it by laws, why don’t you legalize it? You can then monitor the trade, rehabilitate and provide medical aid to those involved,” Justices Dalveer Bhandari and AK Patnaik told Solicitor-General Gopal Subramaniam.

The court said legalizing sex trade would be a better option to avoid trafficking of women and pointed out that nowhere in the world was prostitution curbed by punitive measures.


“They (sex workers) have been operating in one way or the other and nowhere in the world have they been able to curb it by legislation. In some cases, they (the trade) are carried out in a sophisticated manner. So, why don’t you legalize it?” the judges asked.

The other is a Bombay HC judgment, a correct one, but based on the wrong premise-

In a path-breaking judgment, the Bombay high court has held that even a single dissenting member of a cooperative housing society cannot be thrown out by a builder based on a mere development agreement with the society and a majority of the flat owners in it for redevelopment of the building.

Expressing serious concern at the “disturbing trend of developers approaching the court and seeking eviction and dispossession of non-cooperating members of housing societies’’, Justice S C Dharmadhikari held that any redevelopment activity “should not compromise the rights of members and must safeguard the existence of the society’’.

“It is the developer who comes to court on the basis of rights conferred in his favour by the society, including that of FSI/TDR. Thus, the society not only loses the existing structure completely but is divested of its right to the land itself. If all such arrangements are accepted at their face value, then the existence of the cooperative housing society itself is threatened…’’


In the final analysis, the court said the “cooperative society movement is a socio-economic and moral movement. It is to fulfil the constitutional aim of distribution of wealth. It is not a profit-making activity not is it a tool for power politics. Its true role cannot be forgotten or else commerce will displace service.’’

The only things that should have mattered were “property rights” and “contract.”

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