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Everything You Need To Know About The Arrest Of Raj Kundra And The Legalities Of Porn In India

Let's get you up to speed with the Raj Kundra arrest, the legalities of porn, and erotic content.

If you’ve been watching the news these days, or scrolled through the social media feed, you’d have noticed it abuzz with the arrest of businessman Raj Kundra. Husband of Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty, Kundra was arrested on Monday by the Mumbai police in connection with an adult film racket and this was the precursor to the re-emergence of an age-old discussion of what are the legalities of porn in India. Here is everything you may have missed out on.

Which is the case in connection to which Raj Kundra was arrested?

The Mumbai police said that on February 4 this year, they made 5 arrests of people who were allegedly involved in forcing people into porn. The said people who were forced were aspiring actresses who’d come to Mumbai from other parts of the country and were initially promised roles in web series but then coerced to either play a role in these adult films or foot the bill themselves for the shooting prep if they refused.

Once these films were shot, the accused would make them available on apps on a subscription-based method, and promote them through ads on social media.

Was this legal?

No. Pornography is illegal in India and so was this.

What was Raj Kundra’s role in this porn racket?

The police, as part of the probe, were set on nabbing the people who were involved in producing this erotic content and those who were involved in broadcasting it too. Kundra was allegedly connected to a UK production house and its executive Umesk Kamat who was involved in broadcasting the content and this was why he came under the scanner.

Raj Kundra being taken into custody | Everything You Need To Know About The Arrest Of Raj Kundra And The Legalities Of Porn In India

This is not the first time that Kundra’s name has been linked to pornographic content. A case had been registered by the Maharashtra cyber police last year wherein an FIR was filed against various online platforms that streamed pornographic content. Kundra had applied for anticipatory bail last month in connection to this.

This recent turn of events has gotten people questioning the legalities of porn in India and what exactly classifies as porn and differs it from erotic content.

What is the Indian Porn Making Law under which Raj Kundra was arrested?

To gain an understanding of the legalities of this, here are the sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) under which Raj Kundra was booked and why these defy the law.

IPC 420: Cheating

IPC 34: Common intention

IPC 292: According to this law, anything shall be deemed to be obscene “if it is lascivious or appeals to the prurient interest or if its effect (is) such as to tend to deprave and corrupt person”

IPC 293: The law dictates punishment for any person who “sells, lets to hire, distributes, exhibits or circulates to any person under the age of twenty years any such obscene object as is referred to in the last preceding section, or offers or attempts so to do”.

Raj Kundra has also been booked under several sections of the IT Act. Section 67 is the most crucial as it seeks punishment for anyone who “publishes or transmits or causes to be published or transmitted in the electronic form” any obscene material.

Is consensual filming of nudity a crime?

Viewing porn privately in India is not illegal. The Supreme Court had made a statement in July 2015 that an individual cannot be stopped from viewing porn privately in his own space as this would deter one’s fundamental right to liberty. This being said, the transmission and publication of porn are illegal. Section 293 of the IPC makes it illegal to distribute any form of pornographic content to someone who is below the age of 20 years.

These days, however, with the boom of the Internet and pornographic content being available widely, the IT Act 2000 makes it illegal to transmit or publish any obscene content in electronic form.

What separates soft porn from erotic content on OTT platforms?

There lies a distinguishing factor between what classifies as porn and what is erotic content. OTT platforms have plenty of steamy scenes as part of the action thrillers, films, web series, etc. Why does this not come under the scanner?

Producer-Director Pritesh Kumar had told VICE in an interview that the distinguishing factor that set apart soft porn from erotic content was that the former did not have a storyline and was simply a series of erotica. On the other hand, erotic content that is part of a movie or web series is integrated into a storyline and thus viewers will not simply skip from one sex scene to the next.

Citing the example of Ullu’s Charmsukh, a series of short episodes about unsatisfied partners, he says, “If a wife in a long-distance relationship is exploring phone sex then the erotic content is woven in with the story. What happens next is what keeps the viewer from skipping from one erotic scene to the next.”

Thus, when erotic scenes are coupled with comedy, thriller, fantasy, action, it is not simply sexual content but much more than the viewer gets from it.

What is the legal framework that governs porn in India?

There are various Acts that are in place which deal with what can be broadcasted and what cannot under the umbrella term of pornographic content. The Acts that govern the publishing and distribution of porn are the IT Act, the Indecent Representation of Women Act, POCSO which is Prevention of Child Sexual Offences.

As said earlier, when an individual views porn in a private space or downloads it, it does not mandate an offence. However, the sharing and public distribution of porn could get you arrested. In the case of Raj Kundra, Kazim Rizvi who is the Founder of the tech law and policy think tank The Dialogue said in an excerpt to The Quint that the deciding factor, in this case, would be Kundra’s ‘intent and involvement’.

If porn is illegal, why is it still available on the Internet?

The timeline of porn and its legalities in India is spread across the years.

Porn is banned: In 2015, a lawyer had moved the Supreme Court seeking a ban on porn websites in India as these were allegedly what led to sex crimes. Following this, the then Government in power had ordered Internet Service Providers to take down around 857 porn websites.

The ban is rescinded: However, this move was met with discontent as people said blocking and banning these porn websites was a violation of their fundamental rights. This led to the Government asking ISPs to only block those websites that were showing child pornography.

Porn is banned once more: In 2018, following the gang-rape of a 15-year-old in Dehradun, the Uttarakhand High Court had asked the Central Government to ban porn websites as the gang-rape was allegedly committed after the accused watched porn.

Once again, ISPs were instructed to block 827 porn websites.

But, porn is still available on the Internet. How?

Porn websites have gotten wiser with the times and in order to avoid detection, they have begun changing the domain name or simply by creating mirror websites. Users too have gotten smarter and access porn that is banned by using VPN. This raises questions on the gap that exists between the making of policies and seeing that they are implemented.

Can’t the police trace those who are illegally downloading or watching porn?

Get this. India features as number 3 on the list of countries worldwide that have the most porn viewers! Imagine if the police had to track and trace every single person who was watching or downloading porn. This is why the complexity of the task is a hindrance in seeing to law and order.

Thus, instead of attempting to trace every porn viewer in the country, the police acts on it only when they receive a complaint. This answers the question as to why was Raj Kundra singled out in connection with porn and adult content but other content often manages to go unnoticed.

Trends

Everything You Need To Know About The Arrest Of Raj Kundra And The Legalities Of Porn In India

Let's get you up to speed with the Raj Kundra arrest, the legalities of porn, and erotic content.

If you’ve been watching the news these days, or scrolled through the social media feed, you’d have noticed it abuzz with the arrest of businessman Raj Kundra. Husband of Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty, Kundra was arrested on Monday by the Mumbai police in connection with an adult film racket and this was the precursor to the re-emergence of an age-old discussion of what are the legalities of porn in India. Here is everything you may have missed out on.

Which is the case in connection to which Raj Kundra was arrested?

The Mumbai police said that on February 4 this year, they made 5 arrests of people who were allegedly involved in forcing people into porn. The said people who were forced were aspiring actresses who’d come to Mumbai from other parts of the country and were initially promised roles in web series but then coerced to either play a role in these adult films or foot the bill themselves for the shooting prep if they refused.

Once these films were shot, the accused would make them available on apps on a subscription-based method, and promote them through ads on social media.

Was this legal?

No. Pornography is illegal in India and so was this.

What was Raj Kundra’s role in this porn racket?

The police, as part of the probe, were set on nabbing the people who were involved in producing this erotic content and those who were involved in broadcasting it too. Kundra was allegedly connected to a UK production house and its executive Umesk Kamat who was involved in broadcasting the content and this was why he came under the scanner.

Raj Kundra being taken into custody | Everything You Need To Know About The Arrest Of Raj Kundra And The Legalities Of Porn In India

This is not the first time that Kundra’s name has been linked to pornographic content. A case had been registered by the Maharashtra cyber police last year wherein an FIR was filed against various online platforms that streamed pornographic content. Kundra had applied for anticipatory bail last month in connection to this.

This recent turn of events has gotten people questioning the legalities of porn in India and what exactly classifies as porn and differs it from erotic content.

What is the Indian Porn Making Law under which Raj Kundra was arrested?

To gain an understanding of the legalities of this, here are the sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) under which Raj Kundra was booked and why these defy the law.

IPC 420: Cheating

IPC 34: Common intention

IPC 292: According to this law, anything shall be deemed to be obscene “if it is lascivious or appeals to the prurient interest or if its effect (is) such as to tend to deprave and corrupt person”

IPC 293: The law dictates punishment for any person who “sells, lets to hire, distributes, exhibits or circulates to any person under the age of twenty years any such obscene object as is referred to in the last preceding section, or offers or attempts so to do”.

Raj Kundra has also been booked under several sections of the IT Act. Section 67 is the most crucial as it seeks punishment for anyone who “publishes or transmits or causes to be published or transmitted in the electronic form” any obscene material.

Is consensual filming of nudity a crime?

Viewing porn privately in India is not illegal. The Supreme Court had made a statement in July 2015 that an individual cannot be stopped from viewing porn privately in his own space as this would deter one’s fundamental right to liberty. This being said, the transmission and publication of porn are illegal. Section 293 of the IPC makes it illegal to distribute any form of pornographic content to someone who is below the age of 20 years.

These days, however, with the boom of the Internet and pornographic content being available widely, the IT Act 2000 makes it illegal to transmit or publish any obscene content in electronic form.

What separates soft porn from erotic content on OTT platforms?

There lies a distinguishing factor between what classifies as porn and what is erotic content. OTT platforms have plenty of steamy scenes as part of the action thrillers, films, web series, etc. Why does this not come under the scanner?

Producer-Director Pritesh Kumar had told VICE in an interview that the distinguishing factor that set apart soft porn from erotic content was that the former did not have a storyline and was simply a series of erotica. On the other hand, erotic content that is part of a movie or web series is integrated into a storyline and thus viewers will not simply skip from one sex scene to the next.

Citing the example of Ullu’s Charmsukh, a series of short episodes about unsatisfied partners, he says, “If a wife in a long-distance relationship is exploring phone sex then the erotic content is woven in with the story. What happens next is what keeps the viewer from skipping from one erotic scene to the next.”

Thus, when erotic scenes are coupled with comedy, thriller, fantasy, action, it is not simply sexual content but much more than the viewer gets from it.

What is the legal framework that governs porn in India?

There are various Acts that are in place which deal with what can be broadcasted and what cannot under the umbrella term of pornographic content. The Acts that govern the publishing and distribution of porn are the IT Act, the Indecent Representation of Women Act, POCSO which is Prevention of Child Sexual Offences.

As said earlier, when an individual views porn in a private space or downloads it, it does not mandate an offence. However, the sharing and public distribution of porn could get you arrested. In the case of Raj Kundra, Kazim Rizvi who is the Founder of the tech law and policy think tank The Dialogue said in an excerpt to The Quint that the deciding factor, in this case, would be Kundra’s ‘intent and involvement’.

If porn is illegal, why is it still available on the Internet?

The timeline of porn and its legalities in India is spread across the years.

Porn is banned: In 2015, a lawyer had moved the Supreme Court seeking a ban on porn websites in India as these were allegedly what led to sex crimes. Following this, the then Government in power had ordered Internet Service Providers to take down around 857 porn websites.

The ban is rescinded: However, this move was met with discontent as people said blocking and banning these porn websites was a violation of their fundamental rights. This led to the Government asking ISPs to only block those websites that were showing child pornography.

Porn is banned once more: In 2018, following the gang-rape of a 15-year-old in Dehradun, the Uttarakhand High Court had asked the Central Government to ban porn websites as the gang-rape was allegedly committed after the accused watched porn.

Once again, ISPs were instructed to block 827 porn websites.

But, porn is still available on the Internet. How?

Porn websites have gotten wiser with the times and in order to avoid detection, they have begun changing the domain name or simply by creating mirror websites. Users too have gotten smarter and access porn that is banned by using VPN. This raises questions on the gap that exists between the making of policies and seeing that they are implemented.

Can’t the police trace those who are illegally downloading or watching porn?

Get this. India features as number 3 on the list of countries worldwide that have the most porn viewers! Imagine if the police had to track and trace every single person who was watching or downloading porn. This is why the complexity of the task is a hindrance in seeing to law and order.

Thus, instead of attempting to trace every porn viewer in the country, the police acts on it only when they receive a complaint. This answers the question as to why was Raj Kundra singled out in connection with porn and adult content but other content often manages to go unnoticed.

Trends

Everything You Need To Know About The Arrest Of Raj Kundra And The Legalities Of Porn In India

Let's get you up to speed with the Raj Kundra arrest, the legalities of porn, and erotic content.

If you’ve been watching the news these days, or scrolled through the social media feed, you’d have noticed it abuzz with the arrest of businessman Raj Kundra. Husband of Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty, Kundra was arrested on Monday by the Mumbai police in connection with an adult film racket and this was the precursor to the re-emergence of an age-old discussion of what are the legalities of porn in India. Here is everything you may have missed out on.

Which is the case in connection to which Raj Kundra was arrested?

The Mumbai police said that on February 4 this year, they made 5 arrests of people who were allegedly involved in forcing people into porn. The said people who were forced were aspiring actresses who’d come to Mumbai from other parts of the country and were initially promised roles in web series but then coerced to either play a role in these adult films or foot the bill themselves for the shooting prep if they refused.

Once these films were shot, the accused would make them available on apps on a subscription-based method, and promote them through ads on social media.

Was this legal?

No. Pornography is illegal in India and so was this.

What was Raj Kundra’s role in this porn racket?

The police, as part of the probe, were set on nabbing the people who were involved in producing this erotic content and those who were involved in broadcasting it too. Kundra was allegedly connected to a UK production house and its executive Umesk Kamat who was involved in broadcasting the content and this was why he came under the scanner.

Raj Kundra being taken into custody | Everything You Need To Know About The Arrest Of Raj Kundra And The Legalities Of Porn In India

This is not the first time that Kundra’s name has been linked to pornographic content. A case had been registered by the Maharashtra cyber police last year wherein an FIR was filed against various online platforms that streamed pornographic content. Kundra had applied for anticipatory bail last month in connection to this.

This recent turn of events has gotten people questioning the legalities of porn in India and what exactly classifies as porn and differs it from erotic content.

What is the Indian Porn Making Law under which Raj Kundra was arrested?

To gain an understanding of the legalities of this, here are the sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) under which Raj Kundra was booked and why these defy the law.

IPC 420: Cheating

IPC 34: Common intention

IPC 292: According to this law, anything shall be deemed to be obscene “if it is lascivious or appeals to the prurient interest or if its effect (is) such as to tend to deprave and corrupt person”

IPC 293: The law dictates punishment for any person who “sells, lets to hire, distributes, exhibits or circulates to any person under the age of twenty years any such obscene object as is referred to in the last preceding section, or offers or attempts so to do”.

Raj Kundra has also been booked under several sections of the IT Act. Section 67 is the most crucial as it seeks punishment for anyone who “publishes or transmits or causes to be published or transmitted in the electronic form” any obscene material.

Is consensual filming of nudity a crime?

Viewing porn privately in India is not illegal. The Supreme Court had made a statement in July 2015 that an individual cannot be stopped from viewing porn privately in his own space as this would deter one’s fundamental right to liberty. This being said, the transmission and publication of porn are illegal. Section 293 of the IPC makes it illegal to distribute any form of pornographic content to someone who is below the age of 20 years.

These days, however, with the boom of the Internet and pornographic content being available widely, the IT Act 2000 makes it illegal to transmit or publish any obscene content in electronic form.

What separates soft porn from erotic content on OTT platforms?

There lies a distinguishing factor between what classifies as porn and what is erotic content. OTT platforms have plenty of steamy scenes as part of the action thrillers, films, web series, etc. Why does this not come under the scanner?

Producer-Director Pritesh Kumar had told VICE in an interview that the distinguishing factor that set apart soft porn from erotic content was that the former did not have a storyline and was simply a series of erotica. On the other hand, erotic content that is part of a movie or web series is integrated into a storyline and thus viewers will not simply skip from one sex scene to the next.

Citing the example of Ullu’s Charmsukh, a series of short episodes about unsatisfied partners, he says, “If a wife in a long-distance relationship is exploring phone sex then the erotic content is woven in with the story. What happens next is what keeps the viewer from skipping from one erotic scene to the next.”

Thus, when erotic scenes are coupled with comedy, thriller, fantasy, action, it is not simply sexual content but much more than the viewer gets from it.

What is the legal framework that governs porn in India?

There are various Acts that are in place which deal with what can be broadcasted and what cannot under the umbrella term of pornographic content. The Acts that govern the publishing and distribution of porn are the IT Act, the Indecent Representation of Women Act, POCSO which is Prevention of Child Sexual Offences.

As said earlier, when an individual views porn in a private space or downloads it, it does not mandate an offence. However, the sharing and public distribution of porn could get you arrested. In the case of Raj Kundra, Kazim Rizvi who is the Founder of the tech law and policy think tank The Dialogue said in an excerpt to The Quint that the deciding factor, in this case, would be Kundra’s ‘intent and involvement’.

If porn is illegal, why is it still available on the Internet?

The timeline of porn and its legalities in India is spread across the years.

Porn is banned: In 2015, a lawyer had moved the Supreme Court seeking a ban on porn websites in India as these were allegedly what led to sex crimes. Following this, the then Government in power had ordered Internet Service Providers to take down around 857 porn websites.

The ban is rescinded: However, this move was met with discontent as people said blocking and banning these porn websites was a violation of their fundamental rights. This led to the Government asking ISPs to only block those websites that were showing child pornography.

Porn is banned once more: In 2018, following the gang-rape of a 15-year-old in Dehradun, the Uttarakhand High Court had asked the Central Government to ban porn websites as the gang-rape was allegedly committed after the accused watched porn.

Once again, ISPs were instructed to block 827 porn websites.

But, porn is still available on the Internet. How?

Porn websites have gotten wiser with the times and in order to avoid detection, they have begun changing the domain name or simply by creating mirror websites. Users too have gotten smarter and access porn that is banned by using VPN. This raises questions on the gap that exists between the making of policies and seeing that they are implemented.

Can’t the police trace those who are illegally downloading or watching porn?

Get this. India features as number 3 on the list of countries worldwide that have the most porn viewers! Imagine if the police had to track and trace every single person who was watching or downloading porn. This is why the complexity of the task is a hindrance in seeing to law and order.

Thus, instead of attempting to trace every porn viewer in the country, the police acts on it only when they receive a complaint. This answers the question as to why was Raj Kundra singled out in connection with porn and adult content but other content often manages to go unnoticed.

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