Man Arrested In India For Photographing Woman In A Public Place & 'Insulting Her Modesty'

from the privacy? dept

Michael Scott points us to the news of a guy arrested in India for using his cameraphone to take a photo of a woman at a train station. He’s accused of “insulting the modesty of a woman, by word, gesture or act” as well as “intruding upon the privacy” of the woman. To be fair, the article makes it clear that the woman and the police felt this guy was a “stalker” who had followed the woman on the train for months. However, it also said the woman didn’t mind until he took that extra step of taking her photograph, which is apparently considered a privacy violation:

According to the police, the act of taking a photograph of a woman without her consent amounts to “intruding upon her privacy”. An officer said: “The woman concerned has mentioned in her complaint that she had objections to (the person) taking her photograph. So we arrested him,” an officer said.

The article quotes a lawyer who suggests this case is a slam dunk… as well as another who said there’s no way the case gets anywhere, as there’s nothing wrong with taking a photo of someone in a public place.

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Comments on “Man Arrested In India For Photographing Woman In A Public Place & 'Insulting Her Modesty'”

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Steve R. (profile) says:

Another Slide Down the Slippery Slope into Abusridity

This will be just like “infringement” for playing your radio too loud. Just think of the lawsuit potential when bus loads of tourists take pictures of gobs of people standing around some sort of historical artifact or a casual picture of people at a crowded sports event. Lawyers will be rich!

Pickle Monger (profile) says:


Sadly, this is not a complete exception. In the province of Québec it is illegal to publish a picture of a person without that person’s permission as it would violate the subject’s right to privacy. Though the original case concerned a hardcopy publication (like a magazine), it would still hold true for photo sharing sites like Flickr.
Si if you’re in Quebec and decide to take a picture of a goofy looking person, think again…

ashwin (profile) says:

my experience

Oh boy! I am a photographer from India, currently residing in the US. A couple of years ago, after the Mumbai Pakistani terrorist episode, I was visiting home and I happened to be at a railway station. I took out my XTi to shoot a stray dog lying besides the tracks and cops pounced on me. They wanted to know if I had the permission to shoot and demanded to see the papers. I tried to tell them that I was only a hobbyist and showed them all my pictures. I tried to argue that there were no signs saying that photography was prohibited and that since I was an out of town person, I would not know if that was an implicit rule. Indian cops are poor, underpaid and susceptible to bribery and flattery. My brother in law, who happens to be a cadet at the defense academy, whipped out his student ID and told the cop that I, his brother in law, was his BIL and, instantly, the cop turned into a giggling schoolgirl. He shook my BIL’s hands and said that he was proud of him,etc..Then he looked at me and his demeanor turned instantly and he chatted up with, even asking to see the other pictures. Point is, it is technically illegal to shoot in a railway station without a permit of sorts.

Michael (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: my experience

No, the point is that a stray dog in a train station has more rights than the people of India.

Or perhaps it is that the stray dog was some kind of sevant that was able to bribe the mall secu…I mean police.

No wait, I get it now, it is that this guy’s brother-in-law is some kind of sorcerer that can turn men into schoolgirls.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 my experience

“No wait, I get it now, it is that this guy’s brother-in-law is some kind of sorcerer that can turn men into schoolgirls.”

We must aquire this man. He’d be instrumental in the war on terrorism. How can Al Quaeda blow stuff up if they’re too busy fawning over Justin Bieber posters?

Anonymous Coward says:

This is pretty much irrelevant but…

I was in India last spring with my fiance for about a month. Of all the countries I have ever traveled to I found India to be the most offensive towards women. The amount of cat calls and unabashed verbal requests/advances was just outrageous. On day two or three my fiance decided to completely cover up by donning a saree – which did calm some of the men down but it made all the women start hissing at us (they thought she was an Indian prostitute).

We thought India was an awesome country except for the social discomfort that was hoisted upon us whenever we were outside of a major city. Long story short… I’m very surprised that India has laws protecting the modesty of women. Rapes hardly even go punished there for cripe’s sake.

Anonymous Coward says:

That’s cultural difference I’d say.

Some action involving others might be appropiate in U.S., but not necessary appropiate in other countries.

I’d think the underlying reason for arrest is neither really privacy violation or others. It’s just that the woman can have a reason to get the guy into trouble, because he’s taking photo without first asking her.

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