EBC releases Book on Obscenity: Prevention, Law and Justice by Mr Saurabh Bindal published by EBC. The Chief Guest of the Event was Justice Rajiv Shakdher and the release was followed by a panel discussion. The event saw presence of Justice Prathiba M Singh, Mr Sidharth Luthra, Ms Nitya Ramakrishnan, Ms Puja Talwar and Ms Anusha Soni moderated the event.
Eastern Book Company released “OBSCENITY: Prevention, Law & Practice” by Saurabh Bindal, Partner, Fox Mandal & Associates. You can order your copies of the book here.
The release was followed by a very interesting and engaging panel discussion. The panel comprised of Mr. Saurabh Bindal; Ms. Nitya Ramakrishnan, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India; Justice Prathiba M Singh, Judge, Delhi High Court; Justice Rajiv Shakdher, Judge, Delhi High Court; Mr. Sidharth Luthra, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India; Ms. Puja Talwar Senior Editor and Entertainment Journalist. Further, Ms. Anusha Soni, Senior Journalist, CNN-NEWS18 was the moderator.
About the Book
“Saurabh Bindal’s book will be an essential reading for all. It has been a wonderful experience writing this book with Saurabh” said Sumeet Malik, Associate Editor, Supreme Court Cases, He further said that the aim of the book was not an exhaustive analysis of obscenity, but a detailed analysis of the book. He also remarked that “obscenity is like an elephant, impossible to define but u know it when u see it”.
Justice Rajiv Shakdher, Judge, Delhi High Court, while congratulating Saurabh Bindal said that the book is a wonderful read, it has 13 chapters, it navigates through 14 statutes. It is written in a readable style. Further, he suggested that lawyers and journalists must read it.
Anusha Soni, Senior Journalist, CNN-NEWS18, Moderator for the event said that “Saurabh’s book is a fantastic account of what the law on obscenity is really about”.
Our esteemed panelists released EBC’s “OBSCENITY: Prevention, Law & Practice” written by Saurabh Bindal.
Ms. Prachi Bharadwaj, Senior Associate Editor, EBC introduced the panelists.
The topic of the panel discussion was “Obscenity in a Digital and Globalised World: Freedoms and Fetters”.
Ms. Anusha Soni asked the first question to Mr. Saurabh Bindal about the idea behind the book. Mr. Bindal replied that “in this era you have lot of OTT content, where there is obscenity. And then when I tried to search, I found there is no law on it, just then I started with it”.
Answering the question on what aspect has the law evolved on the subject, Justice Pratibha M Singh said that “why obscenity should be viewed from a woman’s perspective only, it can be viewed from various perspectives. Obscenity has multidimensional views”.
She said that “more space, comfort and economic prosperity in a house, has led to a rise in obscenity”.
On the question of whether there is a line in law on what’s obscene in public and private, are those lines been blurred, Senior Advocate Nitya Ramakrishnan said that there is a need to first determine what is public and what is private. She further said that “where expression is under control, when definitions are hard to describe, there is a tendency to abuse expressions. It is time to reconsider how we regulate”.
She further stated that the “elusiveness of the term obscenity is static”.
Further, Justice Rajiv Shakdher, said that in India test of community standards is prevailing.The social views of judges play an important role when deciding cases relating to obscenity. The difficulty the judges face is how to apply the tests to certain facts”. He further added that “vulgar is not always the test for obscene. Everything that is vulgar is not always obscene”.
Senior Advocate Sidharth Luthra said that “community standard test varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. What is appropriate and inappropriate, varies now”.
Ms. Puja Talwar remarked that “Social media is an untameable beast”. She further said that “everything that is vulgar is not obscene, it depends on how you are consuming it”.
Justice Shakdher suggested that the only way to regulate social media platforms is for them to disclose to the world what kind of algorithms they are using, their policy and user agreements etc.
Senior Advocate Sidharth Luthra said that “nobody is going to share their algorithm. It’s confidential”. Further Senior Advocate Nitya Ramakrishnan questioned this wisdom to trying to regulate something, as its ineffective and counterproductive.
Justice Prathiba suggested that there are various ills of society that are treated in different ways. Promotional persuasive campaigns are the solution.
Justice Shakdher said that “sexual content needs to be contextualized. The internet cannot be taken away. We need to regulate in a balanced way”.
Concluding the panel discussion, Ms. Anusha Soni remarked that social media is a multi-edged sword, what is normal for some is not normal for others. Further, she thanked all the esteemed panelists for an interesting and informative discussion.
In his closing remarks, Mr. Saurabh Bindal said that the book talked about a subject that has never been dealt in India.
The event concluded as Ms. Bhumika Indulia, Associate Editor, EBC thanked the esteemed guests of the evening.