Declare A War On Cyber Pornography !

(Ed: The discussion in this article is purely academic and does not  suggest any direct conclusion on Dr L Prakash's case except that the known facts of the case have been used as examples where necessary.)


The recent case of Cyber Pornography booked in Chennai against Dr L. Prakash has opened up several debates on the incidence of Cyber Pornography in India and the measures required to protect the moral degradation of the society.

The details of the case are available in the summary article in Hindu hyperlinked  at the end of this article. The case involves a charge that a Chennai based individual has produced several pornographic photographs and supplied it for publication in two websites and

The case is being investigated by Chennai Police who are reported to have been able to gather lots of evidence about the production of the material, and also seized some Computers allegedly used by the accused.

The case has aroused interest from the point of view of the complexities involved in obtaining conviction in a Cyber Crime case as well as the role of an Indian intermediary to a Web Porno publisher.

Let's first look at the "Crime".

According to Section 67 of the Information Technology Act 2000 (ITA 2000),


publishes or transmits or causes to be published in the electronic form,

any material which is lascivious or

appeals to the prurient interest

or if its effect is such as to tend to deprave and corrupt persons

who are likely, having regard to all relevant circumstances,

to read, see or hear the matter contained or embodied in it,

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 one lakh rupees and in the event of a second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years and also with fine which may extend to two lakh rupees."

The Act therefore applies to the publishing and transmission of obscene material and covers a web site, e-mail distribution and also a digital rendition on a CD.

The word "Causes to publish" is open to some debate but such a reference should normally be applied to the person who finances and directs an operation as compared to a servant who merely executes it as a contractual or employment obligation.

The first aspect of the case is therefore to prove that there was an "Electronic Publication". 

The web site was in existence on the day of this writing (5th January 2002) but the site was not accessible. Hopefully the investigators should have copied all the contents of the site so that they can link the production raw material found in the possession of the accused to the material published. The copying of the content should ideally be documented in such a manner that there is no doubt as to its existence on the site as on the relevant date. Further the copy has to be preserved and produced in the court of law at the relevant time.

The second aspect of the case is to find the person who either published or caused the material to be published. In the instant case the material was supplied to a publisher abroad. The publisher is therefore not within the normal jurisdiction of Indian courts even though he is punishable under the ITA-2000 (Sec 75).

The registrant information for both the sites are given along side this article.

Registrant information for

Registrar:  REGISTER.COM, INC.
Organization:  TAMILSEX LTD, Daran Antony
address:  ONLY BY EMAIL
   LONDON,   NW9     UK
Admin contact:  TAMILSEX LTD, Daran Antony
phone:  0044
fax:  0044
Tech contact:  TAMILSEX LTD, Daran Antony
phone:  0044
fax:  0044


Registrant Information of  REALINDIANPORN.COM    


   USA Registrant:
   Pradeep Lakshmanan
   17301, 122 LN SE
   Renton, WA  98058

   Administrative Contact:
      Deep (

   Technical Contact:
      Deep (

   Billing Contact:
      Deep (

   Created: 09/27/2001
   Updated: 12/26/2001
   Expires: 09/27/2002

   Domain Name Servers in listed order:



As one can observe, the registration address of is ambiguous and may or may not relate to a genuine company. The is however registered in the name of a recognizable person who happens to be the brother of the main accused. Since he should be having an Indian Passport, it may be possible for the law enforcement authorities to bring him to India for further investigation and  trial. It is however difficult to investigate and try the person named as associated with as he appears to have a non Indian name and no proper address. Any action against him would involve the cooperation of several international agencies.

The third most important aspect of this case is to satisfy the condition "...tend to deprave and corrupt persons who are likely, having regard to all relevant circumstances, to read, see or hear the matter contained or embodied in it.."

In this connection the notice put up in the entry page of the website reproduced herein below is interesting to observe.


Entry Page Restrictions on the website

  By entering tamilsex gallery, you agree to the terms & conditions below:

  • I am an adult, 18 years old.

  • I am NOT accessing this material to use against the site operator or any person whatsoever in any conceivable manner.

  • I will not redistribute this material to anyone nor will I permit any minor to see this material, or any other person who might find such material personally offensive.

  • I am not a law enforcement officer, nor a postal inspector, nor operating under an assumed name or in cooperation with any criminal investigation; nor am I seeking out evidence which may serve as the basis for any charge of violating federal, state, or local obscenity laws.

  • I understand and state that I am retrieving material from a location where it does not violate any federal, state, or local obscenity law or community standard, and agree to bear the full, complete, and sole responsibility for bringing such material into whatever community I chose to do so.


These pre conditions try to fix a certain responsibility on the viewer the acceptability of which will have to be debated in the court of law. The fact that this was a mere notice and there was no further restriction on the entry to the site could be argued as an insufficient effort to prevent people whose minds  could be corrupted by viewing the site.

Considering the complexities of the case, it would be a challenging task for the law enforcement authorities to prove the offence under section 67 of the ITA-2000.

The instant case may however have other angles to it coming under the Indian Penal Code for Meta Society offences and ultimately them may be made to stick. However it is necessary for academicians to think how in future such offences can be either prevented or proved in a court of law.

For the present I would like to state that the first attempt which is easy to achieve is to prevent Indian Cyber Space being used for purveying pornographic content. This can be achieved by a suitable administrative guideline where by the State or Central law enforcement authorities can  after a due process of verification order the ISP s manning the  Internet Gateways to block "Objectionable Sites".

In order to prevent misuse of this provision, there could be a transparent system of approval of such "Blocking" from a team of responsible members from the public.

A provision to this effect is also available in the Communication Convergence Bill which is in the process of being passed in the Parliament and also can be implied through the ITA-2000.

If we accept that young Indian minds need to be saved from corruption with pornographic information on the web then this kind of "Limited Censorship" of pornographic material is a necessary step to fight the war against Cyber Pornography.

This  kind of "Blocking of Site" was resorted to by VSNL earlier to block a news paper site (Dawn) in Pakistan during Kargil war. This was objected to by the public as unwarranted censorship. However, blocking of Porno sites are unlikely to evoke any public opposition. Fortunately most of the anonymizers also do not provide free access to porno sites and hence the blocking of Porno sites will be more effective than in the case of news sites.

It is such preventive steps that would reduce the incidence of pornography the world over rather than the legislative measures which can handle only exceptional cases. It would however be a continuous exercise for the law enforcement authorities to keep updating the list of "Objectionable Sites" and voluntary Citizen/Netizen organisations can help them in this process. hopes that the current incidence in Chennai will motivate the Chennai Police to initiate some action in this field which will be a fore runner to the seemingly tough task of keeping Cyber Space clean. If this is done we can provide a free hand for our children to explore the positive side of the Internet rather than trying to monitor every move they make on the Internet.



January 5, 2002


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