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Watching child pornography cannot be allowed in the name of liberty or freedom of expression, the Supreme Court said on Friday. A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Shiva Kirti Singh asked Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand to take suggestions from the National Commission for Women and others in helping the government prepare a scheme to ban child pornography.

The court said there was a distinction between art and obscenity and pornography cannot be allowed in the name of freedom of speech and expression as this is not an absolute right.

SC Women Lawyers Association, represented by senior advocate Mahalakshmi Pavani, urged the court to ensure prohibition of watching child pornography at public places, saying it has become a moral cancer as reports of school bus drivers and helpers forcing children to watch such materials and molesting them have come to light.

Concurring with her plea, the bench said, “Children need to be protected from this kind of moral assaults as it has the potentiality to bring them physical disasters.”The bench further said: “Children cannot be made prey to these kind of painful situations, and a nation, by no means, can afford to carry any kind of experiment with its children in the name of liberty and freedom of expression. When we say nation, we mean each member of the collective.”

The court asked the Centre to file an affidavit suggesting ways and means to curb child pornography.


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