The Supreme Court’s direction to Central Government on banning pornographic websites and the Union Government promptly banning 857 websites is being seen as a timely step to curb an ill that has been damaging the Bharatiya society for over two decades. The Court issued direction to the government on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Indore-based advocate Kamlesh Vaswani. But instead of welcoming it, some elements started beating their chest against the move even giving it a religious colour. But Kamlesh Vaswani is undeterred on all such protests and is committed to take the legal battle to its logical end i.e. complete ban on all porn websites, which he says is technically possible.
Shri Vaswani while drawing a link between internet pornography and sex crimes had filed this PIL in April 2013, which was first heard by a Supreme Court bench headed by the then Chief Justice Altamas Kabir. The petition challenged the effectiveness of the Information Technology Act of 2000 in dealing with pornography. Section 67 of the law criminalises publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form but not accessing it. Organiser Senior Correspondent Pramod Kumar spoke to Shri Vaswani on phone. Excerpts:
What is the core argument behind your PIL against pornography in the Supreme Court?
The pornography affects child’s mind and propels men to criminal offences against women and children. That is why we want to get it banned through the Supreme Court. Watching porn is like taking narcotic drugs. If you say you like having drugs, can the country’s law allow it? We want watching of porn videos and sharing should be non-bailable and cognizable offence.
What are the ill effects of pornography on the society?
Not only society, in public and private spheres it encourages criminal activity against women and children. They ultimately suffer. They are 75 per cent population of Bharat. Pornography affects the mind and it never gets any positive development. It damages the brain. It has no positive contribution to the society.
But some people are opposing this ban?
They are opposing with baseless arguments. Criminal activity is always a criminal activity. I am not doing a new job. I want the criminal activity to be checked. These sites should be blocked. I am seeking law enforcement.
Some people argue that
banning porn sites is technically impossible?
We have given an affidavit to the court in this regard. Ex-IITians who are working with us have satisfied the court that it is technically possible.
Those who are opposing are also trying to give it a religious colour saying the ban is not in tune with the Bharatiya culture?
All these are baseless arguments. If they come out with any evidence supporting pornography I will reply them in the Court. The Supreme Court has taken it seriously. You cannot find any argument supporting this evil.
Are you satisfied with the stand that the central government has taken on this issue?
We are not completely satisfied. But we welcome Modi government’s step that they have at least started blocking these sites considering Supreme Court’s observations. Children and women are victims of these sites. It is definitely a step towards protecting the country’s women and children. But it is just the beginning. Much more need to be done.
What else do you expect from the government?
The government should check the criminal activity. It is grossly illegal and criminal offence under various Acts like Section 67 of the IT Act, Section 292 of the IPC, Indecent Representation of Women, etc. The criminal activity should be checked.