Abuse Of Obscene Acts By Cops & Moral Police: Know The Rights & The Wrongs

The Logical Indian

June 2nd, 2015 / 8:01 PM

Image Source : Times Of India

Imagine you are spending time with your loved one in a park and suddenly a cop threatens to arrest you. What would you do? You would probably first ask for an explanation. The cop would then go ahead and tell you that your actions were obscene and you will be arrested under a certain section of the IPC that deals with public decency. You would argue that your actions were well within decency limits while the cop continues to argue the contrary. But, wait… who defines these decency limits?

Section 294 of the IPC states that whoever does an obscene act or sings an obscene song in public to the annoyance of others will be imprisoned for upto 3 months, or fined, or both. Undoubtedly, a law that deals with obscene acts is necessary in order to maintain decency around us. But a closer inspection of the statement reveals that the subjective words “obscene” and “annoyance” are not defined in it. So does our constitution really leave it to the sole discretion of the cops to invoke the law in whichever way they want?

The answer is: no, the Supreme Court has defined certain criteria for obscenity, and a police officer cannot apply whichever definition of obscenity he wishes. Taking a look at some cases under Section 294 in the past, we see multiple instances of the Supreme Court and other courts dismissing claims that acts of public kissing are obscene. In other words, we now know that holding hands, hugging or kissing in public do not constitute an offence under Section 294.

Despite the courts’ past judgements, several incidents of police officers harassing and threatening couples on these grounds are often reported. Here lies the most serious issue – Section 294 is widely abused by cops for harassment and extortion of bribes owing to its originally obscure statement and lack of awareness of what constitutes an offence under the section. Besides, not surprisingly, moral polices take advantage of the lack of awareness to impose their own versions of Indian culture upon couples.

Respecting the fact that a public place is a space shared by families, couples and individuals, one must abstain from any sort of sexual activities, nudity and acts that are punishable under Section 294. At the same time, we need to be aware of the fact that indulging in simple activities such as hugging and kissing does not constitute an offence. On the other hand, extortion of bribes by cops and thrashing in the name of moral policing by self-righteous goons are what constitute grave offences and should be severely dealt with under the law.

 


Contributors

Edited by :

Share your thoughts..

Related Stories

Assam Couple Beaten

Assam: Villagers Shame, Beat Couple And Shave Woman’s Head In Another Case Of Moral Policing

Journalists Don’t Enjoy Special Privilege, Rights Of Press Not More Than Rights Of Common Man: Delhi Court

Invincible Indians: Stories Of People And Their Extraordinary Acts That Make Us Proud

UN Human Right Review

All You Need To Know About UN Human Rights Review Where Countries Questioned India’s Human Rights Record

Pahlaj Nihalani

The Adventures Of Pahlaj Nihalani, Guardian Of Indian Culture, Moral & Values

Kailash Mansarovar Yatra

UP CM Doubles The Subsidy For The Kailash Mansarovar Yatra: Two Wrongs Don’t Make A Right

Latest on The Logical Indian

News

More Than One-Third Of 16 Cr Indians Consuming Alcohol Are Addicts, Need Treatment: AIIMS Report

Exclusive

Rape Survivors From All Over The Country Undertake 10,000 KM ‘Dignity March’

News

“Attempt To Silence”: Over 100 Activists Condemn Contempt Notice Against Prashant Bhushan

News

Punjab MLAs & Gujarat Lawmakers Decide To Donate A Month’s Salary To Pulwama Martyrs’ Families

News

From Sunny Leone To Abhijeet Bhattacharya, Here’s 36 B-Town Celebrities Who Will Post Propaganda For Cash

News

“Can An Entire Nation Be Blamed?” Remarks Navjot Singh Sidhu Over Pulwama Attack

x

Stories that deserve attention, delivered to your inbox!

Handpicked, newsworthy stories which deserve the attention of a rational generation.