Increase in indecent representation of women in advertiseme


Increase in  indecent representation of women in advertisement

There is an alarming rise in the cases of indecent representation of women in the country

Parliament passed the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act in 1986. It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir and is meant to ‘prohibit indecent representation of women through advertisements or in publications, writings, paintings, figures’.

‘Indecent representation of women’ means the depiction in any manner of the figure of a woman; her form or body or any part thereof in such way as to have the effect of being indecent or derogatory to or denigrating women or as is likely to deprave, corrupt or injure public morality or morals.

Under this ActL( Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act in 1986)

No person shall publish or cause to be published or arrange or take part in the publication or exhibition of any advertisement which contains indecent representation of women in any form.

No person shall produce or cause to be produced, sell, let to hire, distribute, circulate or send by post any material which contains indecent representation of women in any form.

However, this Act does not apply to:

  1. any book, pamphlet, paper, slide, film, writing, drawing, painting, photograph, representation or figure
  1. the publication of which is proved to be justified as being for the public good on the ground that such book, pamphlet, paper, slide, film, writing, drawing, painting, photography, representation or figure is in the interest of science, literature, art or learning, or other objects of general concern or
  2. which is kept or used bonafide for religious purposes.

   any representation sculptured, engraved, painted or otherwise represented on or in:

  1. any ancient monument or
  2. any temple or on any car used or the conveyance of idols or kept or used for any religious purpose
  3. any film to which the provisions of Part II of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 are applicable. [iii]

Any Gazetted Officer authorized by the State Government may search any place in which he has reason to believe that an offence under this Act has been or is being committed and seize any material which he has reason to believe contravenes any of the provisions of this Act. [iv]

The Act also provides for the punishment of offences under it with imprisonment of either descripttion for a term which may extend to two years and with a fine which may extend to two thousand rupees, and with an enhanced punishment in the event of a second or subsequent conviction.

Sections 292, 293 and 294 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) govern the general law of obscenity in India. In the 1965 case of Ranjit Udeshi, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of the obscenity law on the grounds that it constitutes a reasonable restriction on the right to freedom of expression, which is incorporated in Article 19 (2)(d) of the Constitution. The case involved an appeal by a bookseller against the Bombay High Court's decision to convict him together with his partners for being in possession of an ‘obscene book for the purpose of sale', the book in question being Lady Chatterley's Lover by D H Lawrence.

Now what a this site said(

Dominating Kalyani or ‘Dadi Sa’ of television serial Balika Vadu or Ammaji of ‘Na Aana Is Desh Meri Lado’ portraying women in a negative role, or for that matter scantily clad women in clips advertising men’s products may require the government’s approval before being aired or published if the recommendation for a Central authority to regulate representation of women is approved by Parliament.

The National Commission for Women (NCW) has made this suggestion in a fresh draft of the Prohibition of Indecent Representation of Women and Children Act, 2008, an amendment to the existing Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986.

The NCW has, however, stressed on “an obligation to create and maintain a self-regulatory mechanism.”

NCW chairperson Girija Vyas told journalists here on Monday that the recommendations had been sent to Centre.

“The existing Act does not have enough powers to deal with the electronic media, internet and mobile phones. It also lacked proper implementation and there were hardly any convictions, hence the need for a new law.” The proposed Central authority would be headed by the Member Secretary, NCW, with representatives from the Advertising Standards Council of India, Press Council of India, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and one member experienced in working on women’s issue to be nominated by the women’s panel.

The authority would receive complaints, appeals and grievances or take suo motu notice with powers to requisition tapes of any programmes or advertisements of publication .

It would recommend to the Centre, guidelines or norms or amendments to laws and be vested with the powers of a civil court. Dr. Vyas said. “It is equally important that women refuse to be portrayed as commodities and in a derogatory manner. Women should act as role models.”

Widening the scope of the Act, the definition of “advertisement” will now include any notice, circular, label, wrapper or other document, laser, light, sound, electronic or any other media.

So, I think the implementation of this law is poor .By advocating widening the scope of a law that has been criticised widely from within the women's movement, and not taking into account the existing legal framework, the NCW has shown that it has no interest in taking forward the debate on representation of women in the media in any meaningful manner.

Share your thoughts.



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why govt. wants to control all this, why they want to take india back to 18th century or before. 

as per my thinking there should not be any act to check all this.  instead of checking all this things they should give freedom to chose what to watch or use to viewers/consumers. 

what is definition of decency and indecency? can u define? and tell me in which category sculpture from khajurao temples should be put decent or indecent?

decency or indecency lies in eyes of the person

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There are many option to curb indecent representations of women in India through laws like IPC, Indecent Representation Of Women(prohibition)Act 1986, Information Technology Act 2000, In Young Person's(Harmful Publications) Act 1956, Cable Television Network Regulation Act 1995, Regulatory bodies like NGOs, Human Rights Commission , Press Council of India etc, people and society can also play an important role in curbing the indecent representation of women in advertisements.

In conclusion, I would like to point out that a mass awakening only can make a change in the attitude of advertisements towards women. Public service Advertisements are doing their part- thanks to the Governments and NGOs. But women organizations, police, politicians, social workers, legal activists- all have to join hands to fight those indulging in indecent representation of women in advertisements. Much have to be researched in this field to bring forth a comprehensive piece of legislation or amendments in the existing laws to deal with the vulgar portrayal of women in advertisements. Transnational companies and their advertisements do have a negative persuasive effect on the viewers of our country, especially youngsters. The advertisements portraying women in a vulgar way, whether it be in hoardings or other in other media, is tolerated and over looked by the people. For. e.g. there is a duty attached to officers under different acts like the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition )Act,1986 which can be resorted to remove hoardings with women pictured in a vulgar way. In these circumstances a writ of mandamus can be resorted to. By various cases, the Supreme Court has recognized that the advertisements were in the nature of “commercial speech’, thereby liable to be protected under Art 19(1) (a). But it must be remembered that it is not a blanket protection because of the restrictions which includes inter alia grounds of morality and decency. I would like to points out that the models as well as the advertising agencies do have a right to livelihood and profession, but the so called social workers and activists and lawyers and media persons should come up to enlighten the society at large about the legal consequences of indecent acts.

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Yes. Vyasji you raised a very important point.  The hoardings displaying semi-clad girls on both sides of the streets are really eye-sore.  Very difficult to travel in the city along with the family when they display such things.  Suchitraji rightly pointed out that some corporate houses excessively expose female body without necessity.  In India we have several laws, some are enacted to discharge the international obligations and some as per the wisdom of our parliament.  But all of such beneficial laws became redundant due to non-implementation.  Even, the domestic violence Act is also facing the same situation.  The service providers are not identified, the protections officers are not designated in several states.  Where the service providers are identified,  the service providers are refusing to discharge their responsibility of preparing Domestic Incidents report as they are being attacked when they visit the husband's house to prepare the report.  They are saying that without police protection they dare not to venture to visit the matrimonial home of the aggrieved person.  In the case of indecent representation Act also, implementing intention is not there.  Hence, these rights are existing only on paper and not in real life.

Here also, on this portal, women, who sought their rights under  maintenance laws and / or Section 498-A  are denigrated with worst adjectives (abuses), such as "prostitutes", "s*x-workers", "Sikhandi", "thief", "beggar" etc.  It is definitely violation mentioned in Section 66-A of the Information Technology Act.  As this section stipulates -66(A) (a) "any information that is grossly offensive or has menacing character".   Any person who sends, by means of a computer resource or a communication device such information shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with fine.  The fine is Rs. 2.00 lakhs.  If the offence is perpetrated against woman it is non-bailable.  Even though the accused often change their names and hardware which they use, the cyber crime cell has got the power  and technic to find them out.  The cyber crime cell has got the power and technique to find out the messanger who sends such offensive messages.  The Act also provides the cyber crime cell to search and seizure the hard-disk and / or software used in sending such offence messages.  They can do their search in the accused's residence as well as cybercafe, if from there he is sending such offensive messages.  In addition to this, Section 509 of IPC says it is an offence if - "word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman".   This section has been violated by some of the members of this forum repeatedly.  This is also indecent representation of women, even though these acts are not punishable under the Act, 1986, these acts are certainly punishable under S.509 IPC as well as Section 66-A of the Information Technology Act, 2000.  Further, for invoking the provisions of Information Technology Act, 2000 territorial jurisdiction is also not required.  Any aggrieved persons (male /  female)  can send his complaint by e-mail to the cyber crime cell in his/her state and the rest of the action will be taken by the cyber crime cell.  By such deterrent action only, the people, who disrespect women, will come to know "what is decency", while cooling their heels in the jail.  

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Hit and learn that women seduce men by wearing indecent dresses and that men are fools who don't even know what indecent is.

Advocate, Chennai

I think, it all starts with cinema actors and cinema dialogues. First there should be a prohibition in those areas of filmdom. No professional model would behave or expose so badly than an actor in an Ad!


Women empowerment !1 except some s*x starved self professed paragone of probity in public life, who bothers ?? Women are paid for  showing their assets and roving eyes pay for them . I don;t find what is wrong in it ad what  is indecent .  Whether a swin suit  is indecent or a hipster jeans , is a matter of perception. Let's not be the moral police and mind our own business 




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