SC quashes cases against Khushboo

SC quashes cases against Khushboo

RESPITE AT LAST:  The apex court said Khushboo’s statement on live-in relationship was her personal view. AFP

A bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan ordered for quashing 22 criminal complaints filed in various places in Tamil Nadu against Khushboo for her remarks in a weekly that was published in Tamil in some local magazines in 2005.

Khushboo had challenged a decision of the Madras High Court which had dismissed her plea to quash the cases pending in lower courts. The apex court said her statement on the issue of pre-marital sex and live-in relationship was her personal views and she was at liberty to express her opinion as guaranteed under the fundamental rights enumerated in the Indian Constitution.

Khushboo’s advocate Pinky Anand, had read out a portion of her interview to a magazine whose translated version in a Tamil newspaper created furore. Anand said Khushboo was asked questions about pre-marital sex and AIDS. “None of the educated people will insist that their bride be a virgin,” she had told the magazine.

However, the advocates of the complainants had argued that her comments, allegedly endorsing pre-marital sex, would adversely affect the minds of young people, leading to decay in moral values and country’s ethos.

The complaints claimed that Khushboo’s “insensitive” remarks had “deeply wounded” the Tamil psyche and hence she should be “punished”. The Madras High Court had refused to quash the criminal cases and transferred all cases to the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s court in Egmore with the direction for completion them in six months. According to a TV news channel, after hearing the news of the verdict, Khushboo said she stood by her comments on pre-marital sex and live-in relationships.

“When you look around, every celebrity is pinned down for no rhyme or reason and that is quite a harassment,” she told the channel in an interview. “I knew what I had spoken...It is not an easy task for a woman to stand alone and say ‘I believe in what I have spoken’,” she added.

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