The prevalence of cyberpornography has grown to be a major global concern because to the rapid improvements in digital technology and the internet, especially in India. The legal system in India is complicated, court decisions are not always consistent, and there are strong cultural norms that make it difficult to say for sure whether or not cyberpornography is permitted. This article will examine India’s legal framework regarding cyberpornography by examining pertinent statutes and judicial opinions that have formed the country’s position on the subject.

The Laws:
Cyberpornography is not specifically covered by any laws in India. Nonetheless, as long as it complies with specific regulations, a range of legislative and administrative procedures are available to forbid online pornography. The following are the main laws that India enforces to stop internet pornography:

The Act of 2000 on Information Technology: This law establishes a framework for dealing with cybercrimes, including the online distribution of pornographic material, and covers a wide spectrum of cyber-related offences. Pornography shared or published online is specifically protected by Section 67 of the Act.

The principal piece of criminal legislation in India is the Penal Code of India (IPC). Section 292 addresses the distribution, sale, and exhibition of pornographic content on any medium, including digital. It is against the law to sell, give away, or distribute pornographic materials to anyone who is younger than 18 years old, according to Section 293.

The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act of 2012 The POCSO Act has several provisions to safeguard children from sexual abuse, with a focus on offences committed by minors. The act states that it is illegal to produce, distribute, or maintain child pornography, even on the Internet.

Judgements and Legal Interpretations:
Online pornography in India is categorised as either criminal or legal, depending on the details and substance. The legal framework governing the concept of obscenity and the legal treatment of cyberpornography was developed by the Indian judiciary. The following are notable judicial decisions:

In the Aveek Sarkar v. West Bengal State Indian Supreme Court ruled in 2014 that private adult pornography between consenting parties is not criminal while still preserving the right to free speech. But it’s important to remember that anything that involves minors, especially child pornography, is illegal and strictly forbidden according to a lot of laws and rules.

Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, which dealt with online speech and expression, was found to be illegal in the landmark decision. Union of India v. Shreya Singhal (2015). This case brought to light the need to safeguard free speech online while making sure that pornographic material is handled legally and appropriately.

The Fight Against Cyber Pornography:
To effectively prevent cyberpornography, Indian law enforcement agencies collaborate with social media companies and ISPs to identify and track violators. To address such offences, the government has also formed specialised cybercrime cells. The promotion of responsible internet use and the teaching of people about the legal repercussions of engaging in cyberpornography are also being addressed through public awareness campaigns and educational programmes.

Implementation and Proposals:
Cyberpornography incidents are investigated and prosecuted by Indian authorities, including the police and specialized cybercrime teams. They often work with social media firms, internet service providers, and other stakeholders to identify violators and stop the spread of pornographic information.
The Indian government has taken action against internet pornography through a variety of initiatives:

  • Cybercrime Cells: Within police agencies, specialised units have been established to address internet crimes, including cyberpornography. The major objectives of these units are to gather data, carry out investigations, and promote responsible internet use.
  • Reporting Procedures: If you come across any instances of internet pornography, you are urged by the government to report them to the relevant authorities. Local police departments, state departments of cybercrime, and the National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal are all places to file complaints.
  • Public Awareness Campaigns: Awareness campaigns, with an emphasis on children and teens, are conducted to educate the public about the risks associated with cyberpornography and the responsible use of digital platforms. With the support of these initiatives, users will be able to report offensive content, steer clear of it, and foster a safer online community.

In conclusion:
The legal landscape surrounding cyberpornography in India is still very much in flux. Unacceptable content on the internet is prohibited by Indian law, which includes the Information Technology Act and the Indian Penal Code, even if there are no laws specifically targeting cyberpornography. Court rulings have outlined the parameters of what is considered offensive behaviour and have emphasised the necessity of preserving free expression in the face of criminal activity.

To keep the internet a safer place for everyone, law enforcement, ISPs, and the general public must cooperate in the battle against cyberpornography.

Adv.Khanak Sharma (D\1710\2023)

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