The Mumbai Crime Branch has arrested businessman Raj Kundra for allegedly making and publishing pornography. The police have arrested a total of nine accused in this case. The crime branch registered a case in February regarding the creation of pornography films and publishing them through some apps.
Mumbai Police said, “after investigation, we have arrested Raj Kundra in this case as he appears to be a key conspirator of this. We have sufficient evidence regarding the case.”
The crime branch has exposed a major racket wherein a porn film production company makes pornographic videos of young women under the pretext of giving them a break in the film industry. The accused then uploaded the videos on porn sites and mobile apps. A preliminary inquiry has revealed that the accused owned mobile application ‘Hothit Movies’ wherein the accused uploaded such porn videos.
Watching porn in private space is not illegal
In India, watching sexually explicit content in private is not illegal. The Supreme Court also observed in 2015 that it cannot stop an adult from exercising his/ her fundamental right to personal liberty to watch porn within the privacy of his/ her room.
However, in 2015 the Department of Telecommunications issued an order that required ISPs to ban 857 pornographic websites. A few days later, the government clarified that the ban was aimed specifically at child pornography.
Publication or transmission of porn is illegal
Before the introduction of the IT Act 2000, section 292 of IPC dealt with the punishment for the sale of obscene books. And any material is obscene “if it is lascivious or appeals to the prurient interest or its effect such as to tend to deprave and corrupt a person who reads, sees or hears it.”
Section 293 of the IPC makes it illegal to sell, distribute, exhibit, or circulate obscene objects to anyone under 20 years of age. Section 294 makes it a crime to do any obscene act or sing obscene songs in any public space.
However, most pornographic videos are largely available in electronic form. The Information Technology Act 2000 makes it illegal to publish or transmit obscene material or material containing sexually explicit acts in electronic form.
Section 67 of the IT Act makes it illegal to publish or transmit “obscene material” in electronic form. Any person who contravenes this law can be punished with three-year jail imprisonment along with Rs 5 lakh as fine.
Further, Section 67A provides for punishment for transmitting “sexually explicit act” in electronic form. The section also carries an imprisonment of up to five years, but with a fine which may extend to Rs. 10 lakh.