Section 373 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 – Explained!
The first explanation attached to the section says that any prostitute or any person keeping or managing a brothel, who buys, hires or otherwise obtains possession of a girl under eighteen years of age shall be presumed to have obtained her possession with the intention that she shall be used for the purpose of prostitution, unless contrary is proved to the satisfaction of the court. According to the second explanation attached to the section the expression ‘illicit intercourse’ used in this section has the same meaning as in the preceding section.
Whereas section 372 penalises sale, letting to hire or otherwise disposal of a person under eighteen years of age with a certain intention or knowledge, this section punishes
buying, hiring or otherwise obtaining possession of such a person with the same intention or knowledge. In this way, sections 372 and 373 are complementary to each other. A seller is thus guilty under section 372 while a buyer is guilty under section 373.
The offence under section 373 is cognizable, non-bailable and non-compoundable, and is triable by court of session.