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Don't treat Sunny Leone as outcast: Katju

Wading into the debate over appearance of Sunny Leone on reality show Big Boss, Press Council of India Chairperson Justice Markandey Katju said the American porn star's past should not be held against her if her behaviour in India is "socially acceptable".

tv Updated: Jan 10, 2012 12:10 IST
HT Correspondent

American porn star Sunny Leone's past should not be held against her if her behaviour in India is "socially acceptable", Press Council of India chairperson Justice Markandey Katju said.

Leone, who appeared on the reality show Big Boss, was entangled in a controversy with many people objecting to a porn star featuring on a TV programme on the ground that it promoted her pornography business.

"Sunny Leone was earning her livelihood in USA in a manner acceptable in that country, though it is not acceptable in India.

Hence if she conducts herself in India in a manner which is socially acceptable in India and does not breach the social moral code in India, we should not treat her as a social outcast," Katju said in a statement.

The Press Council of India chairperson also said that he had not been shown anything to suggest that she is indulging in pornography while in India.

Delving deep into religious history and mythology, Katju said: "Lord Buddha stayed with the courtesan Amrapali and ate food served by her, and she later became his disciple. Similarly, Mary Magdalene was a fallen woman (according to the Gospel of Luke as interpreted by Pope Gregory) and Jesus allowed her to wash his feet and she later became his disciple."

There is no saint without a past and no sinner without a future, Katju added.

A complaint over the Broadcast Consumers Complaint Council's (BCCC) inaction over the appearance of Leone which had been sent
to Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni had been marked to Katju as well, sources said.

Nor did the BCCC find anything in the content of Bigg Boss violative of self-regulatory guidelines. As many as 38 complaints had been made to the BCCC regarding Leone's appearance.