- salman ravi
- PRESS24 NEWS correspondent
After the arrest of Raj Kundra, questions are being raised once again whether the existing laws are so strict that strict action will be taken in such cases. Experts are also advocating for amendment in the old law.
After the arrest of Raj Kundra, husband of businessman and actress Shilpa Shetty for making obscene films, the question of obscenity or obscene material in India is being discussed about the existing legal provisions.
Questions are also being asked whether this will be stopped through the existing legal provisions? Questions are also being raised whether the existing legal provisions are so strict that through these, strict action will be possible against the people involved in this work?
In connection with the case in which Raj Kundra has been arrested, the Mumbai Police had registered an FIR in February this year itself. This whole matter started when a model released a video, which became quite viral.
Within a few days of the arrival of this video, Mumbai Police arrested a person named Umesh Kamath, whom the model had mentioned in her statement. The model alleged that she was asked by the accused to “audition naked” during the video conference.
Mumbai Police says that another woman artist has also filed a complaint in the same case, on the basis of which a total of nine people have been arrested. Umesh Kamath is also among those arrested.
The police have said that the accused used to assure the struggling women artists of getting work in web series or films being made on OTT platform. Police say that on the day the shooting started, these female actors were forcibly forced to film obscene scenes.
After the shooting was completed, they were also uploaded on certain mobile apps and it was promoted through social media.
Allegations against Raj Kundra
Kundra is accused of producing such films as well as uploading them through an app of a UK-based producer company. The creation, distribution or dissemination of pornographic material is a criminal act according to the law of India.
Therefore, a case has been registered against Kundra and other accused under sections 292, 293 of the Indian Penal Code, in addition to sections 420 and sections 67 and 67A of the IT Act. Apart from this, separate sections have also been imposed for presenting women indecently.
In the year 2013 also, Raj Kundra was questioned by Delhi Police on allegations of ‘cricket match-fixing’. In the year 2015, he took over as the promoter of a ‘home shopping channel’ named ‘Best Deal TV’. Then he launched a live streaming media app ‘Jaldi Live Stream App’.
According to Section 292 of the Indian Penal Code i.e. ‘IPC’, everything whether it is a pamphlet, artistic presentation, figure or book, which is found to be ‘erotic’, will be considered obscene. It further explained that if any of these things “appeal to sexual interest”, then that too would be classified as obscenity.
The law states that if its effect corrupts those persons who are likely to read, watch or listen to such material, then it would amount to obscenity.
It has also been defined in the law that the sale, operation, import-export and advertisement of pornographic material as well as making profit through it is also an offense.
According to sections 293 and 294 of the IPC related to this, sale or dissemination of such material to people below the age of 20 years and “obscene acts and songs in public places” have also been kept in the category of punishable offences.
The same was done in the case of Raj Kundra as it is alleged that obscene material was uploaded on the app.
It is clear from the provisions of the law and the relevant sections in the IPC that viewing pornographic material in India has not been classified as a crime. The offense has been considered only for its manufacture and dissemination or distribution.
If it comes to minor children and women, then other sections are also added to it. The same has been done in the case of Raj Kundra, in which Sections 3, 4, 6 and 7 of the Indecent Portrayal of Women (Prohibition) Act have been invoked.
Police say that the crime has been registered on the basis of the statement of the female artist, who alleges that she was forced to act in pornographic films by intimidation.
These provisions are being discussed in the circles of law. Law experts agree that new-age crime cannot be stopped through old-fashioned law. He says that this law needs to be made more clear, which should clearly explain the crime, punishment, role and jurisdiction of the accused.
Well-known lawyer Virag Gupta says that there have been interesting debates in the courts regarding this law made in 1860 and different courts have also commented on it from time to time.
He says that even in the case of Raj Kundra, the app on which obscene material is being said to be uploaded is operated from the UK. Therefore, action on that app becomes a matter outside the jurisdiction of the Indian Police and the concerned investigating officer.
He says, “It is such an old law. Where has the world come from after 1860. But even today, to deal with obscenity, the government employees have to work only by the laws of jugaad.”
He says that the solution is not being found only by the law to stop obscenity. Therefore, apart from other provisions or sections of the Indian Penal Code, the provisions of the IT Act have to be resorted to.
In the same year, the Government of India has also issued the guidelines of the IT Act, but experts say that despite this, there is still no concrete policy regarding showing pornographic material on OTT platforms.
Another lawyer, Rohin Dubey, says that the laws that exist do not mention films or the Internet. He says that the IT Act is also not that sharp. Taking advantage of its shortcomings, OTT platforms or apps on the Internet are serving obscene material indiscriminately and women or children have to become victims of exploitation.
Law experts say that the way obscenity is spreading, the time has come to make a separate law regarding it, in which the new age means used for it should also be clearly mentioned.
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