Supreme court against blanket ban on obscenity

New Delhi, December 12: The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), which sought a ban on the publication of obscene and nude photographs in newspapers of the country.

A bench headed by Justice A R Laxman, however, directed the Union Government to consider suggestions made by Press Council of India for bringing certain regulation in the publication of such objectionable matter. Indian Express via Blogger’s collective.

The petitioner, Ajay Goswami’s position:

The petitioner Ajay Goswami, an advocate, had moved a PIL alleging that some of the leading newspapers were indulging in unethical practices of publishing nude and obscene photographs and material which tended to corrupt the young and impressionable minds, Further, he argued that the publications were publishing sex-oriented material like masturbation, pre-marital sex and other issues which may not be obscene but still caters to prurient interest of the minor.

New Kerala

The Supreme Court had this to say:

“An imposition of a blanket ban on the publication of certain photographs and news items etc. will lead to a situation where the newspaper will be publishing material which caters only to children and adolescents and the adults will be deprived of reading their share of their entertainment which can be permissible under the normal norms of decency in any society,” …

…Dismissing the petition, the bench said, “Any steps to ban publishing of certain news pieces or pictures would fetter the independence of free press which is one of the hallmarks of our democratic set-up.”

It noted that nudity per se could not be described as nudity.

Yahoo India News

Although laws against “obscenity” exist in the Indian penal code, it’s heartening to see the highest court laying emphasis on self regulation. (Id, I know you’ll be jumping with joy 😛 )

[tags]Obscenity, Supreme Court of India[/tags]