KOCHI: Observing that the role of a mother is always important in the life of a child as she is a pillar of emotional support, the Kerala High Court on Friday dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of Rehana Fathima, an accused in a case registered for posting a video on social media in which her two minor children were seen painting on her semi-nude body.
Justice PV Kunhikrishnan observed, "She used the children for the purpose of sexual gratification because they are represented in the video in an indecent and obscene manner as they are painting on the naked body of their mother." The offences alleged in this case are under the POCSO Act, 2012, Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, and under the provisions of the Information Technology Act, 2000.
While opposing the bail plea, Senior State Prosecutor Suman Chakravarthy submitted that the POCSO Act is enacted to prevent the exploitative use of children in pornographic performances and materials. In the video, the petitioner was lying naked and her two children, a boy and a girl aged 14 and 8 are painting on her naked body. This video was shot by the petitioner and uploaded on social media. The court pointed out that the prosecutor opposed the contention of the petitioner by citing the Supreme Court and even the decisions of the US Supreme Court.
According to the petitioner, Rehana is teaching sex education to her children by uploading the video. The judge observed, "I can understand if the mother is doing these activities inside the four walls of her house. It is the freedom of every mother to teach sex education according to her will if it is not forbidden by law."
The court observed that as a mother, it is her duty and responsibility to be the emotional anchor of their children so that they can face the storms of life. The children are not born with a moral compass and it is the job of parents, especially of the mother, to build that compass for them.
"You are also responsible for living your life according to the same moral values that you preach, as that is the only way kids will learn. The petitioner has got the freedom to teach her child according to her philosophy. But, that should be within the four walls of her house and should not be forbidden by law," observed the court.
The court added that a good mother has outstanding qualities. "No one can replace her in life with her children. A deep love for her children, sacrifice and dedication, protection and security are the qualities of a mother. When a baby is born, he is totally unaware of the outside world. The mother plays an important part in introducing him to the world. The outlook that the child will form towards life depends a lot on the mother. His attitude, his views – religious or otherwise – his perspective on life and its goals will all be gained from her. Be responsible enough to teach and demonstrate the values that your kids need in order to grow up as decent human beings," the court observed.
In Manusmriti and Holy Quran, the mother is singled out as she bears a greater responsibility, said the court. The court also made it clear that the investigating officer should investigate the case untrammeled by any of the observations in this order.
The judge observed, "I place myself in the position of the petitioner and from the viewpoint of the viewers of every age group in whose hands this video reached when it was uploaded by the petitioner. After applying my judicial mind, I am not in a position to say that there is no obscenity in the video when it is uploaded on social media."