Milind Soman Latest News | Poonam Pandey Latest News Update | The Case Against Milind Soman; What is Obscenity: All You Need To Know | What Is Legal Definition of Obscenity? | Milind Soman, Poonam Pandey debate: What is obscene and what is not? » India News
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Milind Soman Latest News | Poonam Pandey Latest News Update | The Case Against Milind Soman; What is Obscenity: All You Need To Know | What Is Legal Definition of Obscenity? | Milind Soman, Poonam Pandey debate: What is obscene and what is not?

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  • Milind Soman Latest News | Poonam Pandey Latest News Update | The Case Against Milind Soman; What Is Obscenity: All You Need To Know | What Is Legal Definition Of Obscenity?

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  • The problem comes from having no clear definition of obscenity in laws
  • Soman posted a picture of the nude run on his 55th birthday, on which the case

Actor and model Milind Soman raced the beach of Goa on 4 November on his 55th birthday. Two days later a case was registered against him at the Konkan Police Station in Goa. A few days earlier, actress Poonam Pandey was arrested for alleged indecent photoshoot in a restricted area of ​​Goa. Both are accused of spreading obscenity in a public place.

Two high-profile cases were filed in a single week. All kinds of comments have also come on social media. The question that is most likely to be raised is that his body is being praised for what Milind Soman did. At the same time, why Poonam Pandey is being targeted. There is not much difference in what they both did.

Moreover, unlike Poonam Pandey, Milind removed all the clothes. In such a situation, laws related to pornography are also under question. Especially in this era of web series and OTT platforms, where the number of people who object to their content is not small. Let us know what is obscene in Indian law and what is its punishment?

Who can be considered obscene or ‘obscene’?

  • The definition of obscenity is very complex. The Oxford Dictionary states that conduct contrary to standards of morality and decency is obscene. It has linguistic meaning. Its legal definition is confusing. It can also change according to the courts and lawyers.
  • A book or an object is obscene when according to section 292 of the IPC, it is lascivious or insensitive or has the effect of weakening or corrupting someone. The definition of sensual, rational, weak and corrupt is not clear here. It has become the job of the courts to decide what is obscene and what is not. It also carries a sentence of up to three months.
  • Information Technology (IT) Act (indecent content in electronic format), Independent Representation of Woman Prohibition Act (indecent depiction of women), Young Persons Harmful Publication Act (indecent content of children) and Cinematograph Act (indecent scene in films) Indecent content is also defined. Different punishment is fixed for this.

How do courts decide what is obscene and what is not?

  • The Supreme Court in 1965 adopted the British-era Hicklin test in the Ranjit Udeshi case. It was decided on the basis of whether an article or book is obscene or not. Accordingly, a case can be considered obscene if it has the ability to corrupt people’s minds. This publication may fall into the hands of such people, whose minds can become corrupt after reading it.
  • However, in 2014, the Supreme Court rejected the Hicklin test in the Avik Sarkar case. Instead, it adopted the American Roth Test. It is close to modernity. It says that the material which is obscene in the eyes of a normal person, is obscene. It should form the basis of the community standards of the time.
  • The new system means that the Community Standards Test takes into account the changing values ​​of the society. The porn that was a century or a decade ago, it is not necessary to be obscene even today.

Is this obscenity outside the scope of freedom of expression?

  • No. These are both separate matters. The Supreme Court has said in several cases earlier that according to Article 19 of the Constitution, freedom of expression does not mean that you go free. Whatever you do, it should be in the realm of morality and decency.
  • This means that when it comes to pornography or pornographic content, it should meet the community standards on morality. Indian courts have always favored artistic freedom in the controversy of morality and freedom of expression. The same arrangement was given in the MF Hussain case in 2008.
  • The Supreme Court stated in the 2016 Perumal Murugan Judgment that art is often provocative and not for everyone. No material can be called obscene on the basis that it does not meet the standards of a section of society.

Have there been prosecutions in cases like this before?

  • Lawsuits under the obscenity law have been ongoing since independence. Cases have also been registered against several authors including Saadat Hasan Manto, Ismat Chugatai. Comedy shows such as Lady Chatterley’s Lover and novels like Bharat Mata Petings to Bandit Queen AIB Roast have also been surrounded by allegations of obscenity.
  • Hollywood actor Richard Ger kissed Shilpa Shetty on the cheek at the 2007 AIDS Awareness program. An arrest warrant was issued against Ger. The Kiss of Love campaign went against Kissing in public in 2014 in Kerala. The campaign ended when the government threatened to take action under the obscenity law.
  • In the case of Soman, a case has been filed in 1995 with model Madhu Sapre on allegations of obscenity for appearing without clothes in an advertisement. He was acquitted after a 14-year trial. Then there is also the story of Protima Bedi when in 1974 she ran for a magazine photoshoot in the middle of Mumbai without clothes.

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