Summoning Orders For CEO Of Maxim Magazine For Obscene Morphed Picture Quashed By Delhi High Court

Summoning Orders For CEO Of Maxim Magazine For Obscene Morphed Picture Quashed By Delhi High CourtCyber law due diligence in India is one aspect that is frequently ignored by banks, Internet intermediaries and various companies operating in India and abroad. Further, various companies and individuals are also not aware of the requirements of Internet intermediary liability in India.

Of late, companies are engaging in publication of obscene and soft pornographic contents on their websites and online portals. For instance, media is promoting soft porn in India. Similarly, e-commerce websites in India are publishing soft porn with active disregard to Indian cyber law.

We at Perry4Law Organisation and Perry4Law’s Techno Legal Base (PTLB) have already opined that cyber litigations against foreign websites would increase in India. This is also what is happening in India and the trend predicts that more and more cyber law and cyber crime cases would be filed against Indian residents and Indian and foreign companies.

In a case involving morphed obscene content, the Delhi High Court quashed a trial court order summoning the CEO of an American magazine Maxim to face trial for publishing an alleged obscene morphed picture of a woman Rajya Sabha MP in 2006.

The court, however, directed the trial court to issue a fresh summoning order mentioning the trial judge has not only failed to record the offence for which he took cognizance but the order is also silent as to in what capacity the petitioner has been summoned.

The complaint for the case was filed by the MP on the basis of which the police registered a case against the magazine and its officers. The Indian edition of the magazine carried the picture of MP morphed on to a swimsuit-clad model’s body.

The FIR was registered under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as well as the Indecent Representation of Women Prohibition Act in May 2006. If an online edition of the magazine was also published, even the Information technology Act, 2000 can be invoked.

Individuals and companies operating in cyberspace must take the cyber law due diligence requirements of India very seriously as obscenity and pornography are taken very seriously by the Indian cyber law.