The Supreme Court on Wednesday quashed 22 criminal cases registered against Tamil actress Khushboo following complaints against her for making a controversial statement endorsing pre-marital sex and live-in relationships.
A bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan scrapped the cases saying her statement was her personal view and the Constitution entitled her to express it as well.
The bench’s judgment came on Khushboo’s petition challenging the 2008 ruling of
Madras High Court that had dismissed her plea to scrap the various criminal cases against her.
Khushboo’s counsel Pinky Anand said, “It’s a path-breaking judgment on the subject of freedom of opinion, which is one of the most important bulwarks of democracy. In this case it is the vindication of a harassed woman fight against injustice.”
Reacting to the verdict, Khushboo (39) said, “If you are honest and if you are fighting for justice, then whatever political or money power anybody has, there is a lot to protect the normal citizen and my case has proved it.” She said she was grateful to the Supreme Court that took into account the entire case including the complete transcripts of her interview.
Brinda Karat, CPI (M) MP, said, “Its shocking that people still have medieval frame of mind and Khushboo’s case has reached the SC. Cases of child pornography and obscenity, however, do not see the light of the day.”
The bench had on March 24 reserved its ruling on the issue questioning the complainants’ counsel. The bench had said: “When two adults want to live together, what is the offence? Does it amount to an offence? Living together is not an offence. It cannot be an offence.”
Khushboo had in her interviews said pre-marital sex wasn’t a taboo and it was fine for girls to indulge in the relationship after taking precautions to keep unwarranted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases at bay.