Actor and model Milind Soman was booked by Goa Police on Friday for obscenity and publishing and transmitting obscene material in electronic form.
Soman, who turned 55 on Wednesday, had posted a photograph of him running nude by a beach in Goa, captioned “55 and running!” The photograph was clicked by his wife.
“A case has been registered at Colva police headquarters under IPC Section 294 (obscene acts and songs) and Section 67 of IT Act (publishing and transmitting obscene material in electronic form) against actor Milind Soman,” South Goa SP Pankaj Singh said.
Singh said the case was booked on the complaint of a political outfit named Goa Suraksha Manch.
This comes each day after model-actor Poonam Pandey and her husband were booked for obscenity, after they shot a controversial photoshoot at a restricted dam site, with the government’s Water Works Department filing a complaint therein case. They subsequently got bail from a court in south Goa an equivalent day.
In the bail order, the judicial magistrate first-class , Canacona, stated, “A professional shoot towards the making of a video or a movie , in my considered opinion can’t be outright termed as obscene or immoral merely because some members of the general public say so, or there’s public outcry about an equivalent . Films and videos are covered under the proper to expression, which may be a fundamental right granted by our Constitution.”
This, meanwhile, is that the second time Soman faces charges of obscenity. In 1995, the welfare work Branch of Mumbai Police had booked him and model Madhu Sapre after they posed nude, wearing only a pair of shoes and a python wrapped around them, for a billboard campaign. They were acquitted after a 14-year-long legal trial.
Earlier this year, Soman posted the old image on social media and had wrote, “what the reaction would are if it had been released today…”
“He has used Goa for is reasonable publicity and acted foolishly on a public beach,” Sameer Khutwalker, president of Goa Suraksha Manch and complainant within the case, said.
Khutwalker said he found it offensive since “his (Soman’s) wife had clicked the photograph with none official permission. In official permissions, the law doesn’t permit such acts. How do i just run naked on a beach?”
Khutwalker said they didn’t complaint initially because they “didn’t know where he (Soman) was running naked”. “Then, on Instagram one follower commented that he saw the couple in south Goa, so we approached south Goa police,” he said. “Please understand, Goa’s image gets tainted (by such action). When this stuff become public, people will imagine that ‘anything is feasible in Goa’…. When will all this stop?”
He said, “I am happy he was booked. The State must fight it. We just pushed for it in order that the difficulty comes up.”
Commenting on Poonam Pandey’s detention earlier for the allegedly obscene photoshoot, Stating that he was observing the reactions to both cases, Khutwalker said: “One of the explanations I spontaneously visited the police headquarters yesterday was also because I found no objection was coming against (Soman) from anybody. When a woman did it, she (Pandey) got arrested. But if a person did it, he wasn’t . That wasn’t right.”
In his order granting bail to Pandey and her husband, Sam Bombay, the JFMC court noted, “When it involves fundamental rights of a private , which are sacrosanct, especially the proper to free speech and expression, which constitutes an important foundation of a democracy and without which life itself would be meaningless, acting during a video or film, which can be be perceived by some as obscene and yet some others may perceive it as artistic, can’t be a ground to jail an individual , especially where the acts complained of are documented during a film.”