Supreme Court of India on August 30 asked the Central government to take effective steps to block porn sites particularly those showing child pornography and granted four weeks time to chart out plan of action. “Nothing, you have to do it,” a bench headed by Justice BS Chauhan said when Additional Solicitor General KV Viswanathan sought time to file response on a plea for blocking such sites in the country. It is to be noted that on July 12, the Supreme Court had granted four weeks time to the Centre to devise a mechanism to block such sites. But the government failed to act.
The Court was hearing a petition filed by Indore-based advocate Kamlesh Vaswani who pleaded that pornographic sites should be banned as they are one of the major causes for crime against women. Advocate Vijay Panjwani, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that the Centre has failed to devise mechanism to block the Internet sites and absence of Internet laws encourage people to watch porn videos and as it is not an offence.
The petition alleged that over 20 crore porn videos or clippings are freely available in the market, which are directly been downloaded through internet or other video CDs. “The sexual content that kids are accessing today is far more graphic, violent, brutal, deviant and destructive and has put entire society in danger so also safety threats to public order in India. …The petitioner most respectfully submits that most of the offences committed against women/girls/children are fuelled by pornography. The worrying issue is the severity and gravity of the images are increasing. It is a matter of serious concern that prepubescent children are being raped,” the petition said.
The petition also said that at best the IPC only recognises the offences of obscenity, kidnapping, abduction, and other related offences which are not sufficient to tackle the issue of pornography. Need of the hour is that watching and sharing obscene videos should be made non-bailable and cognisable offence.