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Public Prosecutor Vs. A.D. Sabapathy and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1958CriLJ647; (1958)IMLJ8
AppellantPublic Prosecutor
RespondentA.D. Sabapathy and anr.
Excerpt:
- - butt decisions of our court clearly show that it' should be given ordinary and literary meaning. the lower court is right in coming to the conclusion that the articles are not 'obscene'.the acquittal is well justified......filthy, loathsome, indecent and lewd. but it does not mean that every indecent oral repulsive or filthy article that will come under the definition of obscenity, though all obscene articles will be either indecent or filthy or repulsive.the fact that a decent person will not bullish certain articles or will not indulge in certain indecent writings does not necessarily mean that the indecent articles will become at oncel obscene articles. in order that an article should be obscene, it must have the tendency to corrupt the morals of those in whose hands the article may fall. a reading of the articles in question will not, in my opinion, have the tendency to deprive the moral of any person, young or old. the articles are undoubtedly highly defamatory of the persons referred to therein;.....
Judgment:

Somasundaram, J.

1. These are appeals against the orders of acquittal passed by the Chief Presidency Magistrate in C.C. Nos. 1156 and 1157 of 1956 on his file. The accused are editor and publisher and printer respectively of a Tamil Weekly known as Cinema Nesan. They are charged under Section 292 IPC for having published and printed articles which are alleged to be obscene in character. The articles have appeared in the issues of the journal dated 18th November, 25th November and Sth December of 1956. The articles purport to describe the conduct of several film stars in association with some other persons.

In short the allegations in these articles are that the film stars mentioned by him are prostitutes. They give names of several persons with whom the film stars go about, suggesting the relationship between them is anything but fair and honest. The question is whether such an article will come within the definition of obscenity. Obscenity is not defined in the Code. Butt decisions of our court clearly show that it' should be given ordinary and literary meaning. The dictionary meaning of the word 'obscene' is repulsive, filthy, loathsome, indecent and lewd. But it does not mean that every indecent oral repulsive or filthy article that will come under the definition of obscenity, though all obscene articles will be either indecent or filthy or repulsive.

The fact that a decent person will not bullish certain articles or will not indulge in certain indecent writings does not necessarily mean that the indecent articles will become at oncel obscene articles. In order that an article should be obscene, it must have the tendency to corrupt the morals of those in whose hands the article may fall. A reading of the articles in question will not, in my opinion, have the tendency to deprive the moral of any person, young or old. The articles are undoubtedly highly defamatory of the persons referred to therein; and no decent person will indulge in defaming persons in the manner in which the accused have done.

In that sense the articles are indecent and disgusting to cultured minds. They are in one sense filthy in that they offend the susceptibilities of cultured persons. It is one thing to call. them indecent and another thing to say that I they are obscene. In my opinion, these articles however indecent they may be to cultured minds, will not fall within the scope of obscenity. As already pointed out, it is not every filthy or indecent article that will become obscene, toughly all obscene articles will be either indecent or filthy Or repulsive. The lower court is right in coming to the conclusion that the articles are not 'obscene'. The acquittal is well justified. The appeals are dismissed.


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