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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

‘Curb obscene content on social media’

Kanchan Chaudhari, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, February 22, 2013
First Published: 01:23 IST(22/2/2013) | Last Updated: 02:18 IST(22/2/2013)

The Justice Chandrashekhar Dharmadhikari committee set up by the state government has in its third interim report expressed the immediate need to regulate offensive and obscene material easily available on internet and social networking sites, in view of the ever increasing popularity of such material amongst the youth.

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The Maharashtra government had set up the multi-member committee under the chairmanship of Justice (retired) Dharmadhikari for examining existing legal provisions and suggesting appropriate amendments required for curbing offences against women. The committee was formed in July 2010 after several members of the legislative assembly voiced their concerns about the increasing number of offences against women.

The Committee had submitted its first interim report in December 2010, second in September 2011. A copy of its third report, submitted to the government on January 16, 2013, was handed over to the Bombay high court on Wednesday in connection with a a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by city NGO, Help Mumbai Foundation. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2013/2/22_02_13-pg11-mumbai.jpg

Taking note of the plight a rape victim is required to go through in the present legal system, the Committee has asked state government to give due consideration to suggestions made by Supreme Court judge Justice Gyansudha Mishra, whosaid their statement should be recorded once before a magistrate and it should be treated their testimony before the trial court, so as to avoid the pain of repeating the episode several times.

In order to deter others from committing a crime against women, the Committee has said that political parties should not give candidature to persons convicted of such offences and has also called upon the society at large to boycott such offenders.

It has also suggested a preventive measure of publishing names and details of those convicted for offences against women on some authorised websites and also on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

The interim report of the multi-member committee, appointed by state government in July 2010 for suggesting measures to prevent crimes against women, has been submitted, as ordered by high court while hearing the PIL.

The PIL, filed through advocate Rajeev Chavan, raises concerns over safety of women commuting on suburban trains in the city. The PIL was heard briefly on Thursday and is posted for further hearing on February 28.


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