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Obscene act in a private place causing no annoyance to others does not constitute offence: Bombay HC

Mumbai: A bench of Justice Naresh Patil and Justice A M Badar of Bombay High Court ruled that obscene act in private place causing no annoyance to other is not an offence. The honorable High Court thereby quashed the complaint against some 13 men who were arrested from Andheri at a private party conducted in a flat.

The incident occurred in December 12th, 2015 where a journalist filed a complaint to the Amboli police against a private party conducted in a flat where women dancing with obscene gesture and some others showering money on them with loud music. As an inquiry the Amboli Police conducted raid and some were arrested and later the Amboli Police filed FIR under section 294 and section 34 of Indian Penal Code against the petitioners and others.

The counsel for the petitioner contended that as the party was conducted in a private place and it is not a public place which could have been accessed by someone and thus cannot comes under the purview of obscenity charges.

The bench in its derivation conveys that if any person does an obscene act in any public place causing annoyance to others only falls within the purview of section 294 of IPC. The Court said “Obscene act done in a private place or viewed in privacy is not covered by the provisions of section 294 of IPC. The flat in building owned by some private person meant for private use of such owner cannot be said to be a public place.”

The judges further said the FIR, even at first sight, does not uncover any offense. They reasoned that obscene act claimed in the FIR was not being directed at an open spot and that too to the disturbance of others.

“As such, we fail to understand as to how the FIR came to be registered only for the offence punishable under section 294 read with 34 of IPC,” it said.

Adv. Mikky Sudhakaran

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