Watching Porn in Private unstoppable: Govt to SC

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New Delhi: The government on Monday told the Supreme Court that it can not impose a ban on porn. Govt told the apex court that it can not ban porn except for child pornography. It said that it is a question of a person’s right to speech & entertainment. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said that the government can not keep a watch on people who want to watch porn in privacy.

The Supreme Court on Monday resumed hearing a petition seeking a ban on pornographic websites.During a hearing last month, Chief Justice HL Dattu had declined to pass an interim order to block porn websites and said the court could not stop an adult from exercising his fundamental right to personal liberty to watch porn within the privacy of his room.

Indore-based lawyer Kamlesh Vaswani has filed a public interest litigation seeking a ban on porn websites in India. Vashwani had contended that the court should pass an interim order because the government had failed to act. The Chief Justice acknowledged the issue is serious and said some steps need to be taken. “The Centre is expected to take a stand. Let’s see what stand the Centre will take,” he said.

The government subsequently issued an order on July 31 to internet service providers (ISPs) to block 857 websites but the move triggered a row that forced authorities to backtrack.A second order directed ISPs to only block only websites hosting child pornography. But the ISPs refused to implement the order for unblocking sites without child pornography unless they are given a specific list. The ISPs put the onus on the government for identifying specific websites to be unblocked and told the department of telecommunications that they do not have any mechanism to filter such portals.

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