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Ranveer Singh booked for posing naked: What do Indian laws say on nudity and obscenity?

After Ranveer Singh's naked pictures went viral on social media, the actor has been booked under various sections of the IPC by the Mumbai Police.

Written By: Devasheesh Pandey New Delhi Published on: July 26, 2022 19:10 IST
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Image Source : INSTAGRAM/ RANVEERSINGH Ranveer Singh poses naked for a magazine photoshoot

Ranveer Singh has landed in legal trouble for posing naked for a new photoshoot. The images went viral quickly and invited a lot of trolling on social media. Not just this, an FIR has also been registered by the Mumbai Police under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and provisions of the Information Technology Act based on complaints against Ranveer. This has led to curiosity among people on the laws regarding nudity and obscenity in public and whether Ranveer can land in jail over the sections he is booked under. 

What sections have Ranveer been booked under?

The Mumbai Police has registered the FIR against Ranveer under various Indian Penal Code Sections like 292 (sale of obscene books, etc), 293 (sale of obscene objects to young people), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and provisions of the Information Technology Act, an official from the Chembur police station said. The FIR stated that India has a "good culture" but due to such pictures, everyone's sentiments are hurt.


What do Indian laws say on nudity and obscenity? 

-- An FIR has been registered against Ranveer Singh under section 293 of the IPC. Under this, selling obscene objects to a young person below the age of 20 years is an offense punishable under this section.

-- An FIR has also been registered against Ranveer Singh under Section 509, in which action is taken on the basis of saying words, gestures or doing any act with the intention of outraging the dignity of the woman.

-- Similarly, action is taken for posting obscene material on social media under Section 67 (A) of the Information Technology Act. Sections 67 and 67A of the Information Technology Act prohibit obscene and sexually explicit material respectively.

Read: Shilpa Shetty-Richard Gere kiss case: Actress asks court to reject plea against her discharge

According to Section 67, publishing material in the electronic form “which is lascivious or appeals to the prurient interest” or tends to “deprave and corrupt persons” shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment which may extend to three years and a fine of Rs 5 lakh. In case of a second conviction, the prison term may extend to five years and the fine to Rs 10 lakh. Section 67A deals with the punishment of publishing material considered sexually explicit online. If convicted, the imprisonment may extend to five years with a fine of up to Rs 10 lakh. 

-- The words 'obscene' and 'obscenity' are however not defined clearly under Indian law.

 Aveek Sarkar vs State of West Bengal case

A 2014 case can be seen as the precedent for which Ranveer is being currently charged in. In the ruling, the Supreme Court observed that “the question of obscenity must be seen in the context in which the photograph appears and the message it wants to convey”.

Read: Nakuul Mehta recreates Ranveer Singh's nude photoshoot but there's a twist

The case was related to a photograph of tennis player Boris Becker posing naked with his then-fiancée Barbara Feltus, an actress, covering her breasts with his hand. A newspaper and magazine in India republished the photographs and a complaint was filed against it under Section 292 of the IPC and under Section 4 of the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986, which prohibited the publication of indecent representations of women.






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