February 3, 2009

Obscenity charges dropped for public kiss

A New Delhi high court judge has dismissed an obscenity charge against a married couple in India who kissed in public, observers say.

Wondering how police could have brought charges against an expression of love by a young married couple, Judge S. Muralidhar quashed the criminal proceedings against the 28-year-old man and his 23-year-old wife, the BBC reported Tuesday.

New Delhi city officials had begun criminal proceedings against the couple for sitting in an objectionable position near a metro (railway station) pillar and kissing, due to which passersby were feeling bad, the broadcaster said.

Muralidhar, however, said that even if police reports were accurate it is inconceivable how "¦ an expression of love by a young married couple would attract an offense of obscenity and trigger the coercive process of law.

The couple's lawyer told a local newspaper that obscenity charges should only be applied when an act is so obscene that it encourages depravity or annoys the public, the BBC reported.