Condom Ad Showing Couple Playing Garba Not Obscene, Doesn't Hurt Religious Sentiments: MP High Court
The Madhya Pradesh High Court has ruled that a condom advertisement featuring a couple playing ‘Garba’ will not amount to obscenity and is not hurting religious sentiments.
The Single-judge bench of Justice Satyendra Kumar Singh ruled while quashing a First Information Report (FIR) against a pharmacist for posting the advertisement on social media and WhatsApp.
What is the case?
The complaint was filed against one Mahendra Tripathi, the owner of a pharma company named Morphus Pharmaceuticals, after he ran a promotional offer for free condoms and pregnancy kits for two days during Navratri in 2018.
“Pre Loveratri Weekend Offer – Condoms (pack of 3)/Pregnancy Test Kit at INR 0,” the ad said.
The case was filed by one Ajay, who made a written complaint to the police stating that the advertisement hurt the religious sentiments of the people.
Following this, an FIR was lodged against him under Sections 505 (public mischief) and 295A (hurting religious sentiments) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) along with the provisions of the Information Technology Act.
Had no intention to hurt religious sentiments
Tripathi, however, argued that he himself is a Hindu and had no intention to promote enmity between religious groups or hurt religious sentiments. He claimed to have posted the said Ad only in good faith to lure the customers during the Garba period as various condom companies themselves came up with promotional offers.
Opposing his plea, the state’s counsel argued that the content of the image posted by the applicant had hurt the Hindu community’s religious feelings and that such an offer during the Navratri period shows the applicant’s criminal intent. Thus, no relief should be granted to him.
Click Here: japan rugby shirts
What the court said
“Since there is nothing on record except the said post which indicates his such intention therefore, considering the fact that he himself belongs to the Hindu community, and so also the fact that he posted the said image from his own mobile number without concealing his identity, it appears that his intention was just to promote the product of his company and not to hurt the religious feelings and sentiments of any community.”
The Court also did not accept the argument that the advertisement was obscene.
“Upon perusal of the alleged post, it is apparent that the contents of the same are not obscene hence, ingredients of Section 67 of the Information Technology Act are also not fulfilled. In view of the above, allowing the prosecution to continue the case would amount to abuse of the process of Court, therefore, it is necessary to quash the proceedings,” the Court said.
Increase in condom sales during Navratri
While there is no visible connection between the two, over the past few years, data from Gujarat has shown an increase in the sale of condoms in the state during the nine-day Navratri festival.
For more on the news, sports, and current affairs from around the world, please visit Indiatimes News.