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Brief Analysis of Budhadev Karmaskar vs State Of West Bengal

Brief Analysis of Budhadev Karmaskar vs State Of West Bengal

This case analysis is done by Harsh Khatri, 3rd year Law intern from the University of Petroleum and energy studies dehradun. This case was the first where the Indian courts had considered the cruel working circumstances of sex workers and establish some amendments protecting their rights.

Facts of the case

Budhadev Karmaskar assaulted Chaya Rani Pal, commonly known as Buri, on September 17, 1999, in a red-light area in Kolkata. The girl suffered eleven face injuries when she fell to the first floor. After the residents revolted, Karmaskar left. An eyewitness to the event was Asha Khatun. Buri was delivered to the Medical College Hospital, where she passed away. Around two in the morning, police detained the suspect on Jogen Dutta Lane.

In this case, the appellant, Budhadev Karmaskar, was charged with a horrible offence. The trial court found him guilty of the crime of rape and murder of a minor girl and gave him a death sentence. Before the case was heard by the Indian Supreme Court, it passed through numerous stages of appeal.


➔    Is prostitution legal in India?
➔    Do they have equal protection of the law as in equal human rights?

Arguments by appellant

●    As Asha Khatun did not appear for the cross-examination, the learned counsel argued that her testimony during the examination-in-chief could not be used as evidence under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
●    Additionally, it was claimed that no locals from the area where the incident occurred were called as witnesses. The learned lawyer intended to challenge the prosecution's version of events for this reason.

Arguments by prosecution

●    Eight of the eleven serious injuries the victim suffered from were sufficient to cause death in the normal course of nature, according to the doctor who conducted the post-mortem.
●    The medical college hospital doctor who examined the victim also confirmed the injuries and the fact that the victim was already dead when she arrived at the hospital.


The appeal was denied by the Hon'ble High Court of Calcutta, which rejected the appellant's claim that the eyewitness's statement shouldn't be subjected to cross-examination. The accused caused serious injuries, according to the court, which were sufficient to result in the deceased's demise.

Prostitution is legal in India, according to a three-judge bench that ruled in favour of sex workers and it was also ruled that sex workers shall enjoy equal legal protection. Adult and consenting sex workers are not subject to any type of criminal prosecution by the police.

The creation of such schemes for sex workers to receive training was advised to the central and state governments so that it would be easier for them to be rehabilitated into society in the future.

A committee was established in 2011 with this recommendation, and it was submitted in 2016, however, no actual action was taken. For this reason, the Supreme Court invoked the inheritance power under Article 142 of the Constitution and issued certain directions for sex workers. The following are the Supreme Court's main directions:

➢    Equal protection of law
➢    Right against harassment
➢    Non-disclosure of the identity

And further requested the central and state governments to request the creation of any form of policy that would be appropriate for sex workers or would serve to safeguard them.

Additionally, the Supreme Court ordered the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to give Aadhar cards to sex workers without requiring them to provide proof of residence in order to aid in their social reintegration.

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