Kerala HC dismisses activist Rehana Fathima’s anticipatory bail plea


PTI, Jul 24, 2020, 4:25 PM IST

Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Friday, July 24 dismissed controversial activist Rehana Fathima”s plea seeking anticipatory bail in cases against her for allegedly circulating a video in which she was seen posing semi-nude for her minor children, allowing them to paint on her body.

Dismissing the plea, the court observed that it was not in a position to agree with the petitioner that she should teach sex education to her children in this manner.

In her bail plea, the activist, while justifying her act had submitted that so far as children are concerned, they need to be imparted sex education and made aware of the body and its parts as well enabling them to view it as a different medium altogether rather than seeing it as a sexual tool alone.

Justice P V Kunhikrishnan observed that the petitioner has got the freedom to teach her children according to her philosophy, “but, that should be within the four walls of her house and should not be forbidden by law.”

The court also quoted verses from Manusmrithi and Holy Quran to explain the role of a mother in the life of children but directed the investigation officer to investigate the matter untrammeled by any of the observations in the order.

“The petitioner feels that she should teach sex education to her children. For that purpose, she asks her children to paint on her naked body and then uploading the same in social media. I am not in a position to agree with the petitioner that she should teach sex education to her children in this manner”, the judge said, resolving the contentions raised by the petitioner.

The allegation against Fathima is that she asked her children, a boy, and a girl aged 14 and 8 respectively to paint on her semi-nude body.

In the video, she was lying semi-nude and her two children painting on her body.

The video was shot by the petitioner and uploaded on social media.

The petitioner said she is teaching sex education to her children by uploading the video.

When the video was found by the Cyber Dome, Kochi City Police, a case was registered against the activist last month alleging offenses punishable under various sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO Act), Information Technology Act, 2000 and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.

Earlier, the woman was also booked by police in Pathanamthitta district under the Information Technology Act and the Juvenile Justice Act on a complaint lodged by BJP OBC Morcha leader A V Arun Prakash.

The Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, which sought a report on the matter from Pathanamthitta district police chief, had also directed the police to register a case against the woman under various sections of the POCSO Act.

After the Supreme Court allowed women in traditionally barred age groups of 10-50 into the Sabarimala temple in September 2018, Fathima made an attempt to enter the hill shrine, but had to retreat following protests by Hindu activists and devotees.

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