Mumbai Police launch an ‘Obscenity” probe against Bollywood Star for nude photos on social media

Police Officers in Mumbai, India, filed an initial information report (FIR), against Bollywood actor Ranveer Sin on Tuesday. The first step in a criminal investigation is to file a police complaint.

Police officers at Mumbai’s Chembur Police Station filed an FIR against Singh on July 26 after receiving a complaint from an unidentified, 50-year-old Mumbai citizen, India’s Bar & Bench legal news website reported. The Press Trust of India (PTI) reported that two people complained to Mumbai police about Ranveer’s nude photo posts on social media, thus prompting the FIR’s filing.

— Ranveer Singh (@RanveerOfficial) July 22, 2022

According to the U.S-based Human Rights Initiative (HRI), an FIR is crucial in India’s criminal justice system.

“It is only after the FIR is registered in the police station that the police takes up investigation of the case,” HRI notes.

“Ranveer Singh has been booked for obscenity under sections 292, 294 of IPC [Indian Penal Code] and 509 and 67(A) of the [India] Information Technology (IT) Act,” India Today magazine reported on July 26.

Ranveer’s alleged act of “obscenity” stems from the complaint made against him under Section 67 of India’s Information Technology Act. According to India Now ., the section “prohibits publishing or transmitting obscen material in electronic format.”

“The provision states that whoever publishes or transmits or causes it to be published or transmitted in the electronic form, any material which is lascivious or appeals to the prurient interest or if its effect is to tend to deprave and corrupt persons who are likely to see it, will be punished with three years imprisonment and fine of five lakh rupees [$6263 USD] [sic],” the magazine detailed.

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The Indian Penal Code, (IPC), states the following regarding “obscenity,” according India Today

Under the IPC, the aspect of obscenity is covered from Section 292 – 294. Section 292 deals with obscene books, pamphlets, paper, writing, drawing, painting, representation or figures. This section criminalizes the sale, rental, distribution,import and export of any obscene pamphlet or book, including paper, writings, drawings, paintings, representations, figures, or other objects.

These are considered obscene when they appeal to the prurient interests or are lascivious. […] An offence under this section is punishable with a two-year jail term and a fine of Rs 2000 [$25 USD] [sic].

Singh’s various social media accounts, including his official Twitter page, posted nude photographs of the actor on July 22. The images were captured during a photo shoot Singh participated in for the U.S.-based magazine PAPER. The magazine published the same nude photos of Singh on July 21 as part of a story it produced about the Bollywood star. PAPER acknowledged in its July 21 article that Singh was “quite naked” during his photo shoot for the magazine.

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