Watching pornography privately no offence, Kerala HC frees man

| Updated: 13 September, 2023 11:30 am IST

New Delhi: The Kerala HC quashed criminal proceedings initiated against a man who was arrested by the Police from roadside for watching pornography on his mobile phone. 

The court in the order stated, “Pornography has been in practice for centuries. The question to be decided in this case is whether a person watching a porn video in his private time without exhibiting it to others amounts to an offense?”

Watching pornography privately no offence, Kerala HC frees man (TNI Report: Vivek Narayanan)

The ruling by Justice P V Kunhikrishnan came while quashing a case of obscenity under Section 292 of the Indian Penal Code against a man who was arrested in 2016 by the police for watching porn by the roadside near the Aluva Palace in Kerala. The man approached the court pleading to quash the FIR and criminal proceedings against him.

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The court said that “privately” watching obscene photos or videos on one’s phone without distributing or publicly exhibiting it will not attract the offense of obscenity under IPC, adding that it will be an intrusion of a person’s privacy. 

Justice P V Kunhikrishnan in his ruling said, “Court of law cannot declare that the same amounts to an offense for the simple reason that it is his private choice and interference with the same amounts to an intrusion of his privacy.”

Watching pornography privately no offence, Kerala HC frees man (TNI Report: Vivek Narayanan)

“A court of law need not recognize consensual sex or watching of a porn video in privacy because these are within the domain of the will of society and the decision of legislature,” added the ruling by Kerala HC 

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Justice Kunhikrishnan however cautioned parents regarding the lurking danger in handing over mobile phones to minor children, without supervision. The Court warned that porn videos are easily accessible in mobile phones with internet access and if children watch them, it could have far reaching consequences. 

The ruling stated, “The new digital age has made it more accessible than ever before, and it is available even to children and adults at their fingertips.”

The Court thus motivated the parents to show informative news and videos to children and send them for outdoor activities, rather than playing with mobile phones.

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