Kamlesh Vaswani v. UoI [W.P.(C).No. 177 of 2103]

This writ petition was filed before the SC under Article 32 of the Constitution of India in public interest challenging Sections 66, 67, 69, 71, 72, 75, 79, 80 and 85 of the Information Technology Act 2000 (hereinafter referred to as the Act) as unconstitutional, as they are inefficient in tackling the rampant availability of pornographic material in India.

The petitioner submits that the porn industry has become a big profit making machine. Advertisements of pornographic websites are often displayed without the permission of viewers. Such uncontrolled displays of porn usually occur while browsing the internet at home or at business meetings and this is extremely offensive to the viewers. It is the petitioner’s opinion that pornography is a moral cancer that corrupts our social values every second across the country.

More importantly, the term ‘pornography’ has not been defined in any Statute. This leads to non-recognition of problems such as child pornography, virtual pornography, poser pornography, as well as crimes against women/girls/children that are mostly fueled by pornography. The petitioner further submits that the respondents are to ensure the protection of all women/ children, and the prosecution/punishment of all offenders. They are also to ensure the proper psycho-social counseling and rehabilitation of victims, and education of all women/children. But the respondents have failed to enforce even the existing laws, to the detriment of rights of members of society to lead a peaceful moral life. Existing provisions within the IT Act that purport to tackle the menace of pornography/cyber crimes – namely Sections 66,67, 69, 71, 72, 75, 79 and 80 – fail to do so since the Act is primarily meant to promote e-commerce and e-governance and is resultantly inefficient in tackling cyber crimes.

Further, the petitioner suggests that in metropolitan cities (such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai), investigating officers should immediately inspect cyber cafes to determine whether porn videos are being made available. If yes, they should immediately be seized.

On the above-mentioned grounds, the petitioner thus prays:

  • That a writ of declaration be issued as Sections 66, 67, 69, 71, 72, 75, 79, 80 and 85 of the Act are ultra vires of the Constitution of India

  • That an order or direction in form of an appropriate writ to the respondents to formulate a National Policy and draft an action Plan on the issue of pornography

  • That a direction be issued to the respondents to prepare a separate law on pornography exhaustively to curb the growing problem of pornography

  • That a direction be issued to the respondents to treat watching of porn videos and sharing as non-bailable and cognizable offences

  • That such other order or orders as deemed fit be issued in the facts and circumstances of the case

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