Cannot stop an Adult from Watching Porn : Supreme Court

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In this era when the internet is ‘mobile’ and ‘pocket’(though slow) even in India, it is difficult to keep a check on who is browsing what. The so called moral think tanks and religious-political parties as well as self-authorised moral police may flutter and frown at the recent order of  Supreme Court of India.

The Apex Court declined a plea seeking interim order to block porn websites in India. Emphasising that blocking porn websites would be violative of an individual’s Right to Personal Liberty; the Supreme Court conscientiously said that it cannot stop an Adult to exercise his fundamental right.

As reported by The Hindu, Chief Justice H.L. Dattu observed, “Such interim orders cannot be passed by this court. Somebody may come to the court and say look I am above 18 and how can you stop me from watching it within the four walls of my room. It is a violation of Article 21 [right to personal liberty]”. These observations came when lawyer Vijay Panjwani representing an Indore-based advocate Kamlesh Vaswani, the petitioner in a PIL seeking the blocking of all porn sites pressed for an interim order till the Home Ministry took a stand on the issue.

Acknowledging that the issue is serious, Chief Justice of India said that the Centre has to take a stand on this and it is to be seen what stand the Centre takes.

The petitioners argued that rise of porn websites is resulting in shooting crime against women and children.

Thought the present observation contradicts its earlier stance that such erotic content needs to be blocked.  In the hearing of same PIL in August 2014, another Supreme Court Bench, headed by the then Chief Justice RM Lodha, demanded strict laws to curb the online content. He had called for a coordinated effort between the Department of Telecommunication, Information and Broadcasting Ministry, and the Home Ministry to deal with the menace.

“One man’s pornography is another man’s theology.” 
― Clive Barker

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