Sex Toys Racket: Why such a big deal over silly rubber and silicone?

Updated: 29 June, 2019 09:11 IST | Suraj Ojha and Faizan Khan |

As police threaten to crack down on sex toys, sellers, online retailers, lawyers and users say archaic law has to go

Sex toys on display in shops near Flora Fountain. File pic
Sex toys on display in shops near Flora Fountain. File pic

Following mid-day's reports, Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Barve has decided to crack the whip on the illegal sale of sex toys in the city. Barve has instructed all police stations and the social service branch to initiate action against sex toy sellers as per the law.

Speaking to mid-day, Barve said, "I have taken cognizance of the reports and asked my officers to look into it and take action as per the law." An officer from the MRA Marg police station said, "Recently, we have taken action against such toys which were being sold in Crawford Market; products worth lakhs have been seized."

Raj Armani
Raj Armani

According to sources, there is a heavy demand for these products and they are being smuggled into the county through various routes. Most of the consignments are being sent through air or sea routes.

Also Read: Sex toys in Mumbai: The pleasure is all yours, so what's the fuss about?

"We don't stop such couriers if we don't find them objectionable. Such products are coming not only from China but also from Europe. They are being sent with different names on the bill; similar modus operandi are being used to smuggle it through the sea route. Most of the products being seized at airports are battery-powered ones," said an officer from the customs department.

Sanjay Barve, CP, Mumbai police
Sanjay Barve, CP, Mumbai police

"Apart from the couriers, several people have been caught personally carrying such sex toys and the products have been seized as per the law. People from the film industry have also been caught with them. Now, such products come in different shapes, too, so one cannot recognise them even if passengers are carrying them openly," added the officer. An IPS officer said, "Such products are also being manufactured across the country and being sold mostly in metro cities. People can order from several websites and get home deliveries."

"The market related to sex is a profitable in every corner of the world. In India especially, the demand of such toys is high. The government should conduct an experiment on this topic," said former IPS officer P K Jain.

Also Read: Sex toys worth Rs 8 crore confiscated in two years in Mumbai

'Sex toys aren't obscene literature'

Speaking to mid-day, lawyer Abha Singh said, "Unless the law is very clear, there cannot be any ban on sex toys. Sex toys are not obscene literature and therefore, they cannot be covered under section 292 of the IPC. For any legal action to take place, the law has to be very clear and precise. In the absence of a specific legal ban, to stretch the law and file cases against the sale of sex toys is neither legal nor desirable."

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First Published: 29 June, 2019 07:06 IST

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