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SC junks Kerala activist’s plea against POCSO charges

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Supreme Court

New Delhi, Aug 7 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Friday junked a plea filed by Kerala activist Rehana Fathima to challenge a High Court order that rejected her petition against a case registered under the POCSO Act and IT Act over her controversial video.

A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra noted that it was an act to spread obscenity. “What impression will growing-up children get?” the court asked.

The petitioner, mother to a 14-year-old boy and an 8-year-old girl, had uploaded a video clip titled ‘Body Art and Politics’ on YouTube, showing her two children painting on her semi-naked body.

Rehana’s counsel contended before the apex court that children seen in a video clip are “fully clothed” and his client has been charged with child pornography and not obscenity. “Does female nudity (even when not visible) per se constitutes obscenity?” he pleaded on behalf of his client.

Justice Mishra said that the court was not interested in such a case. The bench, also comprising Justices BR Gavai and Krishna Murari asked the counsel: “How can you make use of children for this?”

Rehana’s counsel contended that her stand has always been that if a man is semi-naked, there is nothing sexual about it. But if a woman does so, it is considered obscene, the counsel pointed out.

The lawyer insisted that his client Rehana is of the opinion that the only way out of this mindset is to sensitise people. She has moved an anticipatory bail plea in a matter.

The counsel argued that he is not focusing on morals involved, but on kind of statutory provisions invoked against her. “The children in the video are fully clothed. How can it fall under the purview of Section 13 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act?”

Justice Mishra said that the Kerala High Court had already looked into the merits of the case and dismissed her plea.

Rehana’s plea mentioned that even “goddesses in Kerala are frequently depicted in idols and murals with bare breasts. When one prays at the temple the feeling is not of sexual arousal but one of divinity”.

“It may be noted that the video is still available on YouTube and has not been taken down because it shows no nudity,” she pleaded.

She said that the prosecution had, however, accused her of offences punishable under Sections 13, 14, and 15 of the POCSO Act, Section 67B of the Information Technology Act, and Section 17 of the Juvenile Justice Act.

–IANS

India

Harsh Vardhan Lodha to move division bench of Calcutta HC in MP Birla Group case

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New Delhi, Sep 20 : Harsh Vardhan Lodha would be moving the Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court on Monday or Tuesday against the single Bench Judge’s order on Friday which restrained him from holding any office in M P Birla group entities.

“Apart from all other legal issues, which our clients will raise in their appeal, Friday’s verdict is a violation of natural justice,” said Debanjan Mandal, partner, Fox and Mandal, who is representing Harsh Vardhan Lodha. “Matters were disposed of without even affidavits being filed”, Mandal said.

“It is well established that the Probate Court has jurisdiction over the Estate only, which the verdict acknowledges multiple times,” he added. “Yet verdicts were passed affecting entities on which the judge himself said his court did not have jurisdiction”, Mandal said.

Last year at the AGM in May 2019, the court appointed APL committee had decided not to support the reappointment of Harsh Lodha as director of Vindhya Telelinks and Birla Cable and even tried to block his commission in Vindhya Telelinks, Birla Cable and Birla Corp.

In August 2019, the single judge bench of the Calcutta High Court prevented the group entities from publishing the voting results of FY19 AGM.

Lodha had moved the division bench of the Calcutta High Court against the decision of single bench and got a favourable judgement in May, 2020, which led to the declaration of the voting results of FY19 AGM. The results reflected the overwhelming support of the shareholders with 99 per cent votes were in favour of the reappointment of Harsh Vardhan Lodha in Vindhya Telelinks and Birla Cable.

Even if the Estate of Priyamvada Devi Birla had voted against the resolutions they would still have been carried through by requisite majority as the other promoter group shareholders and substantial minority shareholders and funds had voted in favour of all the resolutions, said a former senior official of the group.

The court that time contented that APL committee mandate is only to look after 1260 shares held in Birla Corp by Priyamvida Birla and therefore cannot make a decision on behalf of all the shareholders.

The genesis of the 16-year-old legal row between the other Birla Group and the Lodhas over control of the Estate of PDB lies in the contested Will of late Priyamvada Devi Birla, the widow of MP Birla who bequeathed her estate R. S. Lodha, father of Harsh Vardhan Lodha. B. K. Birla, K. K. Birla and Yash Birla were removed from this litigation by the Supreme Court as having no caveatable interest in the estate of PDB and fined Rs 2.50 lakh.

Birla Camp had moved Supreme Court to challenge the order of the division bench of Calcutta High Court which was dismissed subsequently, reiterating that the single judge bench of Calcutta High Court needs to determine if it had the jurisdiction in the first place to make such a decision.

(Sanjeev Sharma can be reached at [email protected])

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High on adrenaline: Bikers caught performing daring stunts on Delhi roads

Stunt bikers usually set off on roads with the high end bikes either late at night or early in the morning when the roads have less traffic.

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Bikers

New Delhi, Sep 20 : A group of bikers was seen performing daring stunts on the Delhi roads. The video shot by a passerby showed half a dozen bikes and scooties with young men in their early twenties doing dangerous stunts on the roads risking their lives together with the lives of others. The video is said to be recorded on Sunday morning near Vikas Marg in East Delhi.

The video, which went viral, was brought immediately into the notice of the Delhi Traffic Police.

“Area Traffic Police have already been informed in this regard,” said a senior police officer.

In a 20-second video, the bikers were seen standing on the bikes, some seen pulling the front wheel off in the air and some were seen doing tripling on the bikes flouting traffic regulations.

Though most of the bikers were seen without helmets, interestingly many were seen wearing masks as a precaution against the coronavirus.

Stunt bikers usually set off on roads with the high end bikes either late at night or early in the morning when the roads have less traffic.

Delhi police have been vigilant against stunt biking and on various occasions have apprehended many stunt bikers on roads. Many advisories have also been issued in this regard to the general public.

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Entertainment

Anurag Kashyap responds to sexual harassment allegations by actor Payal Ghosh, says all accusations are baseless

Bollywood actor Payal Ghosh who recently made her Bollywood debut with Patel Ki Punjabi Shaadi has accused filmmaker Anurag Kashyap of trying to sexually assault her.

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Anurag Kashyap

Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap has responded to the #MeToo allegations levelled against him by Bollywood actor Payal Ghosh, saying all the charges are baseless.

In a series of tweets in Hindi, the filmmaker wrote, “Wow, it took so long in the attempt to silence me. It’s ok. In the attempt to silence me, you dragged several other women despite being a woman yourself. Have some limit, Madam. Will just want to say that whatever the accusations are, they are all unsubstantiated”.

Furthermore, he continued, “In the process of accusing me you tried to drag my artists and the Bachchan family but failed. Madam, I have been married twice, if that’s my crime then I accept it, and have loved a lot, I accept that too. Whether it was my first wife or the second, or any other lover, or the many actresses I have worked with, or that team of girls and women who has always been working with me, or the many women who I met in private or in public”.

“I do not engage in such behaviour or tolerate it. Whatever happens, we shall see. One can see in your video how much of it is truth and how much of it isn’t. Blessings and love to you. Apologies for answering your English with my hindi,” Anurag Kashyap added.

Concludingly he wrote, “There are going to be many attacks. This is just the beginning. I have been getting many calls as to not say anything about the matter. I am just waiting for them”.

Bollywood actor Payal Ghosh who recently made her Bollywood debut with Patel Ki Punjabi Shaadi has accused filmmaker Anurag Kashyap of trying to sexually assault her.

On Saturday, Ghosh from her official Twitter handle tweeted, “@anuragkashyap72 has forced himself on me and extremely badly. @PMOIndia @narendramodi Ji, kindly take action and let the country see the demon behind this creative guy. I am aware that it can harm me and my security is at risk. Pls, help!”

NCW chief Rekha Sharma said that she was made aware of the shocking allegations last evening and had tweeted to Ghosh to write to her in detail about the incident. “We will investigate and even write to the police and stand with her till the investigation is done and the case goes to court,” she said.

Payal Ghosh is a Bollywood and TV actress. She made her film debut in 2017 with Rishi Kapoor-Paresh Rawal starrer ‘Patel Ki Punjabi Shaadi’. However, the 2008 telefilm ‘Sharpe’s Peril’ marked her debut in the entertainment industry. She also worked in south films such as ‘Prayanam’, ‘Varshadhaare’, ‘Oosaravelli’, and ‘Mr Rascal’.

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