On February 11th, Times of India carried a front page
article titled "Govt Cannot Ban Porn Websites for Obscenity". The article and
contents came as a "dream cum true" for many who make it their daily habit to
live on a porn diet. Times of India carried the news widely in all its
publications including Economic Times.
TOI itself rejoiced on the contents of the article and
gleefully reproduced excerpts from many of the Savita Bhabhi toons. It also
boldly gave out the alternate URL of Savita Bhabhi in its article and ensured
that every reader of Times of India on and offline is now aware that Savita
Bhabhi is back and that available at the given alternate URL. Additionally the
article made many techies who work for the pornography industry for their
daily bread rejoice that they can have a fantastic time ahead in India.
Over the last one week, the media was full of the views of
the Chief Justice of India that pornography sites on the Internet need to be
banned. His views had sent a shock wave amongst many in the Internet industry
including the ISPs whose bandwidth consumption based on pornography related
downloads appeared threatened.
There was therefore a need for some interesting story to be
planted in the media to wipe out the depression to which the industry had gone
after the Chief Justice's remark. The solution was to approach the
publication like Times of India whose print media itself is having a high
stake on soft porn and a willing reporter who could be made to write what the
industry wanted. What was also important was that the publication was ready to
carry the article on the front page of the print version so prominently that
it was the prime article of the day in all the editions.
Unfortunately however, the entire article is based on a
false interpretation of the provisions of the ITA 2008 and if any one is
feeling happy that India is now ripe for exploitation by the pornography
industry, they are sadly mistaken.
The author argues that by virtue of Sections 69 and 69 A,
Government cannot ban any website unless it can cause "riots" in the country.
What the section 69 says is that the power can be excercised for preventing
incitement to the commission of any cognizable offence related to "Public
The author wrongly presumes that "Public Order" only
relates to a riot like situation.
It may be interesting to note that Wikipedia states
" In Criminology, public order crime is defined by Siegel (2004) as "...crime which involves acts that interfere with the operations of society and the ability of people to function efficiently",
i.e. it is behaviour that has been labeled criminal because it is contrary to shared; norms, social values, and customs"
Section 69 is even more powerful in the sense that it
empowers a designated authority to "intercept" even for investigation of any
offence. This means that there is a lesser need for supporting evidence than
in the case of Section 69. Interception and Blocking are not much different
and can be used to the same ultimate effect. If the Govt wants to intercept
the ISP servers to track who all in India are visiting kirtu.com, who are
producing the script, who are writing the pictures etc, they have the right to
do so. If the Government suspects that part of kirtu.com revenue may reach
terror or drug syndicates, they can invoke investigations under Section 66F
for Cyber Terrorism. If they feel that kirtu.com contains Child Pornography,
they can invoke investigation under Section 67B.
There is no doubt that the sections are extremely powerful
and they have been made so because of serious cyber crime possibilities
including Cyber Terrorism. But they can be invoked for investigation of any
cognizable offence or offences related to "Public Order".
The question of whether savita bahbahi /kirtu is an attempt
to destabilize "Public Order" or not is a matter which is subject to different
interpretation by different persons.
However if a law has been passed earlier to state "Doing
xxx is an offence", then "doing xxx" tantamounts to "Disturbing public order".
Otherwise there is no reason why a law should be made to decalre xxx as an
Now, India has already passed a law that publishing and
distribution of obscene information is an offence under Sections 67 and 67A
while publishing, transmitting, viewing, searching, viewing, grooming for etc
related to "child pornography" is an offence under Section 67B. On similar
grounds savitabhabhi.com was accused earlier and after due consideration the
Government had decided to ban it. Now bringing it back under an alternate
name is an attempt to break the public order set to be created with the ban.
Hence Govt can take any action it deems fit as per the
procedures it has already prescribed under section 69 and 69A on the owners of
kirtu.com. I have in many earlier articles indicated why I consider
savitabhabhi.com as a very sinister type of site, more harmful than an average
pornography site. It aims at corrupting the indian society. It is one thing to
tolerate prostitution and another to bring it home. In that sense
savitabhabhi.com is a "Cultural terror" unleashed on the Indian society and
needs to be fought against with all our might.
More over since Times of India is knowingly and willingly
promoting the illegal site kirtu.com, the publication as well as the author of
the said article are liable to be proceeded against both under ITA 2008 as
well as perhaps under IPC and other acts.
It is necessary for us to distinguish this case from the
"Freedom of Press" or "Freedom of Speech" arguments. They are relevant in
cases such as the Shiva Sena ban on MNIK and not for the Government ban on
If TOI wants the law to be liberalized, they may continue
to fight for the dilution of the law through further amendments. They have
enough clout with the Government to get their wish fulfilled to make India the
Porno Capital of the world. Once the law is changed to their advantage,
they can even start their own pornographic site or take a controlling stake of
kirtu.com if they have not already done either of the two.
But writing articles with deliberate misrepresentation is
not ethical for the journal and the Press Council needs to take note of the
same and take necessary remedial action.
February 12, 2010
Times of India.. Is it Set to
Mislead the Public on Savita Bhabhi Issue?
Govt Cannot Ban Porn Websites for Obscenity... TOI
Boys who watch pornography indulge in casual sex .. a study TOI
Petition against TOI at petition.com
Adult content make kids sexually active
Urgent need to ban porn
websites: CJI Balakrishnan
War on Savitabhabhi.com needs to be continued
Govt Bans Popular Toon Porn Site Savitabhabhi.com; Mounting Concern Over
Times Promoting Obscenity August 3, 2001
Why Times of
India is Wrong..Oct 19,2007
Please do not try to manipulate public opinion with planted stories..Oct
Recipe for Killing Journalistic Ethics..Oct 21,2007
Parliamentary Committee Report on ITA 2006 ..analysed..
D.Venkatesh Pastay, Advocate...Nov
Secularists all set to play a fraud on the society, Oct 31,2006
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