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The Court Observed The Object

Magistrate observed that nude woman figurine ashtrays are indecent and can’t be permitted in any civilised society. The court said it appeared that the sellers and the portals wanted to convey to society that “women should be treated in the manner depicted in the figurine”.The Delhi police has finally lodged an FIR against online shopping portals like Amazon India, eBay and Shopclues and their managing directors for allegedly selling an ashtray shaped like a nude woman, saying it was “outrageous” and “indecent” and could have a serious psychological impact on the young.The FIR was lodged on May 16 at Subzi Mandi police station under the Indecent Representation of Woman (Prohibition) Act, 1986 after the Delhi district court ordered the police to lodge an FIR.Metropolitan Magistrate Babru Bhan gave the direction while also observing that by allowing the sale of such a product, the portals were conveying to society that women should be treated in the manner depicted in the object. A complaint was lodged against the portals by advocate Gaurav Gulati, who alleged that, the sites were “selling a nude woman figurine ash-tray which was indecent”.
The ashtrays, which were sold, are shaped as a nude woman.Effrontery, the figurine shows the woman lying with her legs spread, indicating her genital to be the spot where the smoker is supposed to grind the cigarette after smoking. By such depiction of a woman, what message is being sent to society.The court said it appeared that the sellers and the portals wanted to convey to society that “women should be treated in the manner depicted in the figurine”.“In my understanding, this is the idea being spread through the disputed figurine which is outrageous for every woman and indecent for every viewer. The act of selling or even publishing such material cannot be permitted in any civilised society,” the magistrate said.The court observed the object was not “artistic” in any way.
“In my considered opinion, publication of such material can leave a serious psychological impact, especially on young viewers. It is not artistic from any point of view.” The court, in its order, called for a detailed investigation into the matter to ascertain the identity of the sellers and role of the portals. A detailed investigation is to be carried out to ascertain the identity of the sellers, the role of the portals and to collect digital evidence.“Perverted ideas are always gathered and conceived from the surroundings.
The legislative intent behind the provisions under Sections 292 (sale of obscene material), 293 (sale of obscene material to young person) and Indecent Representation of Woman (Prohibition) Act is to protect society from such material., which has a tendency to corrupt its psychology.“If such incidents and acts are ignored, it will lead to encouragement to wrongdoers and the possibilities of repetition shall be automatically raised.” the magistrate said.“The ashtray … drew severe criticism on social media.(and) was sold at a price of Rs 4,441,” the complaint had alleged.When contacted Amazon India, to find out how they filter their products to check for obscenity and illegal listings. The company representative explained that the e-commerce platform has over a lakh of sellers, who collectively put up thousands of postings each day.They added, while it is difficult to monitor each and every listing that goes up, every seller is provided with a list of guidelines, which mandates them from not listing a product, which is legally prohibited. Now the product in issue is an ashtray, and is not exactly an illegal product, however, Amazon India noted that it was flagged and criticized by many, and so it pulled down the listing after looking into the matter.They further said we don’t encourage such acts and the product was pulled out from the portal and after this we have not attempted to sell this or similar products since then. We are not selling anything offline. We are just trying to earn money without selling illegal products or without doing any crime.

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