Menace of child pornography can be tackled only with moral education, says Madras HC


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The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, while granting anticipatory bail to a youth who apprehended arrest for sharing child pornographic content, has observed that the menace of child pornography can be tackled only if all inculcate the right values.
Justice G.R. Swaminathan observed that Section 43 of the POCSO Act, 2012, says the Central and the State governments must take measures to spread public awareness about the provisions of the statute. However, this alone may not be sufficient. The judge observed, “That the ‘Big Brother’ watching us may not deter those who are determined to indulge in such acts of perversity. The system also may not be able to prosecute every offender. Therefore, it is only through moral education there can be a way out. It is only the ‘Bharatiya’ (Indian) culture that can act as a bulwark”.
The case before the Court involved allegations that the petitioner had browsed, downloaded and transmitted child pornographic material through his e-mail and Facebook account on June 27, 2020. The criminal case registered against the petitioner cited Section 15 (1) of the POCSO, 2012 and Section 67B of the Information Technology Act, 2000.
The Court granted the petitioner anticipatory bail considering that:
1. Even going by the prosecution’s case, the alleged occurence took place almost a year back and appeared to be a one-off act rather than a commercial act;
2. The custodial interrogation of the petitioner was not warranted since he has already handed over his mobile phone and SIM card to the authorities in line with the Court’s earlier orders;
3. Arrest should be avoided unless necessary during the prevailing pandemic times.
Advocate Venkateshwaran R appeared for the petitioner. Government advocate (criminal side) T Senthilkumar appeared for the State.

Reported by Samriddhi Singh, University of Lucknow


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Manish Tiwari

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