Petition to Conduct CBI Enquiry into Murder of Dr J A Mathan

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Watching porn at home isn’t obscenity: Bombay high court

Watching porn at home isn’t obscenity: Bombay high court
Nov 25, 2010
http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report_watching-porn-at-home-isn-t-obscenity-bombay-high-court_1471681
The act of privately viewing a pornographic film in a bungalow does not amount to public exhibition, the Bombay high court held on Wednesday while quashing proceedings against customs officials who had attended a party in Lonavla on August 26, 2008.

The police busted a party at Taj Cottage, Prichly Hill, where 28 men and 11 women had gathered.

They were intoxicated and the men were throwing notes at the dancing women while also watching a porn film. They were booked under section 292 (obscenity) of the Indian Penal Code, among others.

Justice VK Tahilramani gave her verdict on five petitions and upheld the contention that whatever activities were taking place were for private viewing of the persons in the bungalow.

They were not selling, hiring, circulating, producing or exhibiting the obscene film, she observed. The petitioners contended that private viewing on a personal computer does not amount to offence under section 292.

The judge rejected the prosecution’s statement that a bungalow is a lodge and hence a public place and that it can be said that the accused were publicly exhibiting the film. The judge noted the statement of two prosecution witnesses that the bungalow was not a lodge.

Justice Tahilramani said it was not even the prosecution’s case that anyone from the public could walk into it at any point. “As such, the spot where the activities took place could not be said to be a public space. Hence, it cannot be said that there was any public exhibition of obscene films in the bungalow,” she wrote.

Quashing the proceedings, justice Tahilramani said the act of the accused does not constitute an offence under section 292 and continuation of proceedings would amount to an abuse of the court.

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