Jain sage booked for obscenity in Goa

Panaji: A trial court has ordered Goa Police to file a First Information Report (FIR) against a Jain sage for roaming naked around Margao town last month.

In his order dated May 26, Judicial Magistrate First Class (Margao) Bosco Roberts ordered police to file an FIR under section 294 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which deals with obscenity in public places.

The order, which was passed on May 26, but was formally issued on Wednesday, said that the photos of the Jain sage in the procession "prima facie make out an offence under section 294 of the IPC".

"No doubt the freedom to practice and propagate one's religion is sacrosanct under the constitution of India, but with every freedom comes responsibility and duty not to cause annoyance to others," the order said.

Pranam Sagar Maharaj, a Jain Digambar sage had conducted a procession around Margao town, 35 km from Panaji, accompanied by local Congress MLA Digambar Kamat.

The sage's photographs had gone viral on social media last month, even prompting a cabinet minister to demand a ban on sages roaming around in the buff in Goa.

Digambar is a sect in Jainism whose followers traditionally do not wear clothes and is symbolic of rejection of any possessions.

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