The Supreme Court on Friday (August 7, 2020), dismissed the anticipatory bail plea by Fathima AS, an activist in the apprehension of arrest under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, and Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000 after allegedly circulating a video of her minor children painting on her semi-nude body.
The three-judge bench comprising of Justices Arun Mishra, B R Gavai, and Krishna Murari, observed that such acts are unthinkable and portray a wrong picture about the country’s culture to the children. Justice Mishra, heading the bench, asked, "You might be an activist, but why do you do all these? What kind of nonsense is this? What impression will your kids get about the culture of the country?" Senior advocate Gopal Shankaranarayan, appearing for the petitioner, said the children are clothed but they have accused the woman of child pornography and not obscenity. He added that “In this country, if a man stands half nude there is nothing but if a woman does so, then there is all this.”
Advocate Shankarnarayan argued that the petitioner is not someone, who will abscond, and there was no requirement of custodial interrogation. The court while dismissing the plea stated that the offenses against the accused are prima facie and said that the court could not endorse such an act which is in bad taste for the society and the Kerala HC had already considered the case in detail. Earlier, the Kerala High Court had rejected the anticipatory bail by the activist after a case was registered against her by the Cyber Dome, Kochi City Police under various sections of the POCSO Act, and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. “I am not in a position to agree with the petitioner that she should teach sex education to her children in this manner,” the High Court said in its order Also, on a complaint by BJP OBC Morcha leader A.V. Arun Prakash the police in Pathanamthitta district booked her under the IT Act and the Juvenile Justice Act. Fathima had been involved in another controversy when she attempted to enter the Sabarimala Temple in 2018 following the SC verdict of striking down the law prohibiting the entry of women after a massive mob protest took place in opposition. [READ ORDER]