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SC seeks Centre's response on plea for banning porn sites

The Supreme Court Monday sought response from the government on a plea to block and ban porn sites on the Internet, particularly those showing child pornography, as these are a major cause of crime against women.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir issued notices to ministries of Information and Technology, Information and Broadcasting and Home Affairs and Internet Service Providers Association of India on a petition seeking to bring an anti-pornography law.

The petition filed by Indore-based advocate Kamlesh Vaswani said watching obscene videos is not an offence but it is one of the major causes for crime against women.

At the beginning, the bench was reluctant to entertain the petition on the ground that the issue could be dealt under the information technology law.

The bench, which was of the view that the problem was difficult to be curbed, was told by senior advocate MN Krishnamani, appearing for the petitioner, that filing complaint under the cyber law was not the solution as certain provisions in it are ultra vires of the Constitution.

The petition filed through advocate Vijay Panjwani said absence of internet laws encourage people to watch porn videos and as it is not an offence, over 20 crore porn videos or clippings are freely available in the market, which are directly being downloaded through Internet or other video CDs.

"The sexual content that kids are accessing today is far more graphic, violent, brutal, deviant and destructive and has put entire society in danger as also safety threats to public order in India. The petitioner most respectfully submits that most of the offences committed against women/girls/children are fuelled by pornography. The worrying issue is the severity and gravity of the images is increasing. It is a matter of serious concern that prepubescent children are being raped," it said. 

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