What has happened?
- Based on a complaint by a Mumbai-based NGO, the Mumbai Police registered an FIR against actor Ranveer Singh on Tuesday,
- For sharing photographs from an apparently nude photoshoot that he did with ‘Paper’ magazine.
- So, what sections of the law is he supposed to have broken?
Who is the complainant?
- Two individuals, a lawyer and a person running an NGO, approached the police separately to complain against Ranveer.
- Chembur police registered the FIR based on the statement of one Lalit Tekchandani (50), who has told the police that he runs the Shyam Mangaram Foundation, which works with widows and children of farmers who have committed suicide.
- In his statement, Tekchandani has said that he is a private contractor.
What exactly is the complaint?
- Tekchandani has said that on July 24, a friend sent him images of Ranveer that the actor had shared on Instagram and Twitter.
- He was wearing no clothes in the pictures.
- Tekchandani has said that when he zoomed in on one of the photographs, he realized that the actor’s private parts were visible.
- The photo had gone viral, Tekchandani has said. He has said that India is a land of culture, and such photos could influence children who have a “craze” for movie actors and actresses.
- According to the complainant, upon inquiring, he had found that Ranveer had done the photoshoot for ‘Paper’ magazine, and would have earned a lot of money from it.
- He added that it would also influence youngsters struggling to get into the industry to resort to similar measures to earn money and fame.
- Based on Tekchandani’s statement, the Chembur police registered an FIR in the matter.
What is obscene act?
- The Oxford dictionary defines obscene as ‘offensive or disgusting by accepted standards of morality and decency’.
- But for lawyers, the meaning of ‘obscene’ is not as easy to settle on.
- According to section 294 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the obscenity must cause “annoyance to others”.
- Obscene books are similarly criminalised under Section 292.
Sections applied against the actor
- The police have invoked Sections 292, 293 and 509 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), along with Section 67A of the IT Act.
- Section 292 (Sale, etc. of obscene books, etc) says that “a book, pamphlet, paper, writing, drawing, painting, representation, figure, or any other object shall be deemed to be obscene if it is lascivious or appeals to the prurient interest” or,
- “If its effect, or (where it comprises two or more distinct items) the effect of any one of its items, is, if taken as a whole, such as to tend to deprave and corrupt persons” who are likely to read, hear, or see it.
- The section specifically prohibits the sale, exhibition, and circulation of “obscene” material, and lays down the punishment for its contravention.
- Shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, and with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees, and,
- In the event of a second or subsequent conviction, with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, and also with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees.”
- Section 293 (Sale, etc., of obscene objects to young person) says that “whoever sells, lets to hire, distributes, exhibits or circulates to any person under the age of twenty years any such obscene object…or offers or attempts so to do,
- Shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, and with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees, and,
- In the event of a second or subsequent conviction, with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and also with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees”.
- Section 509 (Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) states “whoever, intending to insult the modesty of any woman, utters any word, makes any sound or gesture, or exhibits any object,
- Intending that such word or sound shall be heard, or that such gesture or object shall be seen, by such woman, or intrudes upon the privacy of such woman,
- Shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both”.
Violation of IT act?
- Sections 67A of the Information Technology Act lays down the punishment for publishing or transmitting of material containing sexually explicit act, etc., in electronic form.
- “Whoever publishes or transmits or causes to be published or transmitted in the electronic form any material which contains sexually explicit act or conduct,
- Shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years and with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees and In the event of second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years and also with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees.”
- Police have said that they are investigating the matter, and that no immediate action is likely against Ranveer Singh.
- Sources said that the police will record the statement of the actor in the matter.
- Ranveer also has the option of approaching the court and seek the quashing of the FIR.
Q) Freedom of speech and expression under Article 19 are conferred on?
- Indian citizens
- All persons living within Indian Territory
- Indian citizens & Foreigners
- All of them