Kissing is Crime

kissingIndia is not America or Europe. Kissing in public is strictly unacceptable. Due to certain social code of conduct followed down the ages the culture of kissing in public is not seen in the India and other traditional countries. Love expressed to the opposite sexes is totally in a private place. Even a newly married couple shy away from holding hands outside their bedroom. One may be thinking that it is the Indian custom not to express affection publicly. But then the law of India too bars one from kissing or engaging obscenely in public.

 

India is extremely cautious society in allowing young people in exercising their freedom. For ages there is a control over the lives of youth. Despite they attaining adulthood family control is high. Even some of the families exercise authority over senior people. Here parents of senior when alive like to have their say firmly and finally.

 

Justice. S. Muralidhar of the Delhi High Court stayed an FIR lodged against a married couple for kissing each other in Dwarka metro station. In his stay order Justice Muralidhar said “The FIR doesn’t make a case for offence under Section 294 (Obscenity) read with 34 IPC. It is inconceivable how, even if one were to take what is stated in the FIR to be true, an expression of love by a young married couple would attract offence of obscenity and trigger the coercive process of law”.

 

The newly wedded couple was taken to the Dwarka police station by ASI Vidhyadhar on September 4, 2008. The policeman saw them “sitting an objectionable position near a Metro pillar and kissing each other due to which passersby were feeling bad”. Despite the couple pleading the policeman that they are legally married their words went unheeded by khaki clad moral police.

 

The Times of India (3.2.2009) informs neither in the FIR nor in the subsequent chargesheet did the police attest any statement of witnesses or ‘passerby leaving no doubt in the mind of the court that charges were cooked up. The couple alleged both to the police and the bar council that the lawyer who promised to get the marriage registered connived with Singh to extort  money from him and his wife as they wee unware of the intricacies of law.

 

In his petition before HC seeking quashing of the FIR, the couple mentioned how, while they were being interrogated by the cops his ATM was misused to polish off Rs.20,000 from his bank account. He said the couple got married in first week of September last year at an Arya Samaj temple without the knowledge of their respective parents

 

Therefore, both continued to stay separately as they tried to get the marriage registered and sought services of a lawyer who, as it turns out, cheated them. The petition in fact denies tat they were kissing each other and says they were just clicking self portraits on the mobile phone camera.

 

What Section 294 of IPC says

Whoever, to the annoyance of others

(a)    Does any obscene act in any public place or

(b)   Sings, recites or utters any obscene song, ballad or words, in or near any public place ‘

Shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term wich may extend to three months or with fine or with both

 

Meenakshi Lekhi, a senior lawyer in the Delhi High Court says “The definition of obscenity depends on social norms. Our society is conservative and what may be permissible elsewhere would be looked on askance in India”

 

In such vague definition of legal terms it is natural for the corrupt policemen to randomly pick up people in the pretext of combating crime. Although this act of the couple does not fall under the criminal activity in strong terms, for money police can harass common public to any extent. The popular solution to such problem is abolishing law. One should not swing to extreme levels while handling funny situation such as arresting kissing couple. Laws are needed to rein in erroneous citizens but not be applied blindly.

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