Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Monday quashed a case registered against a woman activist who was charged for offences punishable under various provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
The case was registered against her after she posted a video on her social media platforms showing her two minor children, a 14-year-old boy and an 8-year-old girl, painting on her semi-nude torso.
The court said that “nudity and obscenity are not always synonymous and in order to attract the offences charged against the petitioner, sexual intent is a necessary ingredient”.
The court watched the video in open court and noted that the petitioner had given a detailed message below her video, where she argued that the naked body was in response to a controlling, sexually frustrated society.
According to the description under the video, “no child who has grown up seeing his mother’s nakedness and body can abuse another female body.”
The court also noted that the petitioner has a long history of battling the patriarchy and was part of a movement in Kochi against moral policing.
“Every parent tries their best to teach their children all about life. Every parent has the right to raise their children in the manner they wish. Children do not inherently grow up thinking that any action is right or wrong unless it is impressed upon them as such.
“There is nothing wrong with a mother allowing her body to be used as a canvas by her children to paint to sensitize them to the concept of viewing nude bodies as normal and thinking about them as more than just sexual objects only. Such an act cannot be termed to be one which is done with sexual intent,” read the order.
Hence, it quashed the case against the petitioner.
The petitioner, a women’s rights activist, had posted the video on her social media platforms triggering massive outrage with several people slamming her for subjecting her children to what they considered to be an obscene and vulgar act.
A case was registered against her and the trial court began proceedings after releasing her on bail.
She moved an application seeking to be discharged but the trial court rejected the same leading to the present case before the High Court.