Recommendations

Recommendations

After exploring the concept of ‘digital obscenity’ and its expression and use in Section 67 of the Information Technology Act through multiple methodologies, we would like to make the following recommendations…

The Faultlines of Sexual Expression

Chapter 8

Censorship. Legitimacy. Privacy. Consent. Culpability. These are just some of the challenges that sexual expression faces in the digital age, both online and offline. It’s 2017, folks. But in India, same-sex relationships are criminalized…

Bodies of Evidence III

Chapter 7

2015 was a bumper year for Section 67. A state in India secured its first-ever IT Act conviction – under this section. A case was filed against India’s most famous porn actress – under this section. A comedy crew was booked for roasting…

Perverts and Sexual Freaks

Chapter 6

In looking at NCRB data, we also noticed two broader trends that have an impact on the way cybercrime – including Section 67 – is characterized, understood and addressed. Cybercrimes are classified into a system of ‘motives’…

Bodies of Evidence II

Chapter 5

Almost 5,000 cases have been filed under Section 67 in the last 15 years. It’s not clear how many of them have been ‘disposed of’, to use legal parlance. The Indian legal system is notoriously sluggish, with more than 22 million cases…

Lascivious and Prurient

Chapter 4

To treat a natural instinct, such as sex, as obscene is obviously outdated. The fundamental basis of obscenity is, therefore, unattainable.” Indira Jaising, Lawyer and former Additional Solicitor-General, India…

Bodies of Evidence I

Chapter 3

Flash forward to the 21st century. In 2004, two school students in Delhi, a boy and a girl, filmed themselves having sex. Like the Pune guava-eaters, the boy was 17, the girl was 16. They’d filmed themselves for their own pleasure…

A Short History of Obscenity

Chapter 2

What harm has the sex act, so natural, so necessary, and so lawful, done to humanity, that we dare not speak of it without shame, and exclude it from serious and orderly conversation? We boldly utter the words ‘kill’, ‘rob’, ‘betray’…

Sexting The Cherry

Chapter 1

How do we locate this hullabuloo in the guava orchard? Should we think of this as sexual expression, no different from a kiss or a cuddle, except for the video? Absolutely. Words and images – both moving and still – have always been tools…

That troubled word, obscenity

Methodology

Obscenity. What a troubled word. What a pre-occupation down the ages. It’s not fully clear if the roots of ‘obscenity’ lie in 16th century Latin or in ancient Greece. By and large, the Latin word obscenum, meaning offensive, boding ill…

Hullabulloo in the guava orchard

Introduction

The report briefly described an event that had taken place in November 2014 in Pune, a thriving city four hours from Mumbai. Four young men, all of 17 years, all just starting college or finishing school or some such, had landed…