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S. KHUSHBOO VS. KANNIAMMAL & ANR

We live in a country where each and every one has the freedom of speech but there are some topics which are not allowed to talk publicly, such as sex. Even after everyone is aware about the importance of sex education. Here, we are going to discuss a case where the statement made by a woman was opposed by a group of people because, according to them, it was an obscene statement and case defamation was raised against her.

Facts
The complainant gave a statement on the India moment channel in which she said that sex relations before marriage should be honoured and embraced by the society. Dhina Thanthi, a Tamil daily newspaper, blazoned that her statements made a sensation in Tamil Nadu, and latterly the newspaper had an interview with her in which the complainant allegedly defended her views. The complainant submitted a court notice to the editor of ‘Dhina Thanthi’ shortly after the release of the forenamed news story, categorically denying that she had published similar commentary.
The complainant ordered the publisher to cancel the news item published on 24.9.2005 and to publish its expostulations prominently within three days after receiving the notice, if it is not done, the complainant will have to take applicable legal action against the newspaper. Certain persons lodged felonious charges against her. Under Sec 482 of CrPC which states about the Saving of inherent powers of High Court, she knocked the door of the High Court to quash those felonious proceedings. The high court said that only the trial court had to deal with whether the commentary amounted to defamation and her complaint was abandoned. Through Special Requests, she approached the Supreme Court.
Judgement
The Supreme Court said that at first appearance there's no case of defamation in the present case. The court also found that a group of the multitudinous felonious have filed complaints against the Appellant was done with the wrong intention. In similar cases, the proper course for Adjudicators is to use their statutory powers to direct a disquisition into the allegation.
The Court stated that to establish the offense under Section 509 IPC, it is needed to prove that the modesty of a particular woman or a readily identifiable group of women has been disrespected by any kind of act. This offense cannot be made out when the suers grievance is with the publication of what the Appellant had in a written form. Similarly, Section 153(A) has no operation to the present case since the Appellant wasn't speaking on behalf of one group and whatever she said in her statement wasn't directed against any particular group moreover.

Comment
This judgement is vital because it hits the three essential motives: freedom of speech, expressing your view isn't defamation, and profanity of the statement. The judgement considered all the applicable points and given a fair judgement. In the Union of India; Naveen Jindal and another stated that freedom of speech is an essential element for the functioning of republic. This judgement put the light on the freedom to speak. For the development of the views of the people and also for changing the views of the people, freedom of speech is veritably vital. In the composition, the Appellant also mentioned the preventives a woman should consider while live-in a relationship, which shows that freedom of speech is essential for spreading knowledge. In this case, the defamation claims have no points, and they're put forward. People was just making it an issue to make it a political claim. Defamation means hurting the image or reputation of a particular person or a group of persons, and character of a person. In this case, the Appellant made the statement grounded on a check and stated her particular opinion, not targeting any particular person or group. The statements made by the Appellant were in good faith. It wasn't with harmful intention. In similar matters, the statements are judged from the standpoint of a prudent person, who isn't poisoned, and the statements should also be looked through a current script. The statement is said to be obscene when the statement makes an increase in the desire to do sex. The word sex in the statement doesn't make the statement obscene.

Conclusion
The Supreme Court’s decision is grounded on the fact that the framers of the Constitution also honored the significance of securing free speech and expression because the free inflow of conviction, belief and ideas is necessary. The impact of the judgement is enormous because it gives a communication to society that freedom of speech is available and you can speak your view openly unless and until it's made to intentionally hurt someone. It gives us confidence that we can speak about ourselves freely indeed though it's against the mindset of some groups of people. Through this judgment, two important points are conveyed, one is freedom of speech to say views, and the alternate thing is that expressing your views on topics like sex is not a criminal act. The judgement gives a clear view of what statements will be considered obscene and what statements will be considered defamation

By Ankita Sinha

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