Possessing sexually explicit photos without circulating it : Not an offence under Indecent Representation of Women Act, 1968

Kerala High Court has rescinded the criminal proceedings against two individuals who were charged under the provision of Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986. This act prohibits the representation of women in indecent and disrespectful manner, confiscation of prohibited material, offences and penalties for the violation of the law in this respect.

The decision of the Kerala High Court came eleven years after the Kollam East police apprehended a man and a woman who were found in possession of a video camera and a camera which contained the explicit content related to a woman. Police seized the same at the time of arrest.

The court ruled that no one can be penalised under Section - 6 of the Indecent Representation of Women Act, 1986  unless it is proved with evidence that the photographs in the possession are published or distributed for advertisement or any other purposes. In respect of the same, there was no allegation made upon the two regarding the publication or circulation of sexually explicit content.

The petitioners approached the High Court under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. High Court of Kerala quashed the criminal proceedings and ruled that the case in the lower court cannot be justified.

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