Lucknow: Taking suo motu cognisance of newspaper photographs of an Australian model wearing a bikini with a picture of Hindu goddess on it, the Allahabad High Court has decided to take the matter as a PIL.
The Lucknow bench comprising Justices Devi Prasad
Singh and SC Chaurasia directed the registry to register it
as a public interest litigation of criminal nature and fixed
the matter for May 10 after three advocates drew the court`s
attention to the photographs, saying they were intended to
insult the religious sentiments of Hindu community.
The photographs of the model wearing bikini with
pictures of goddess Lakshmi on the front and back side were
published in a Hindi daily.
The lawyers submitted that the newspaper should not
have published the photograph and the Indian government should
have taken action and approached the Australian government for
The court also framed five question including whether
such photographs may be published in Indian newspapers
affecting the religious sentiments of citizens, whether
Ministry of Foreign Affairs should interfere where religious
sentiments are hurt by any action in foreign and
whether Press Council of India may frame appropriate
guidelines to regulate the electronic and press media.
Also, in case an offence is made out in India because
of publication of such photographs in newspapers in the
country or anywhere in the world, whether action may be taken
on criminal side and in what matter.
There was also a query on remedial measures that may
be taken by the government to prevent such offending acts in
foreign country as well as to prevent the publication of such
photographs in the Indian newspaper or electronic media.
The court also directed the registry to prepare two
sets of records containing photo copy of the newspaper to
place before the appropriate bench.
An Australian swimwear company used an image of
Goddess Lakshmi on a bikini bottom and front of a model who
walked the ramp at Rosemount Australian Fashion Week in Sydney
Following an uproar, the company, Lisa Blue Swimwear,
apologised to the Hindu community for hurting their
"The image of Goddess Lakshmi will not appear on any
piece of Lisa Blue swimwear for the new season, with a halt
put on all production of the new range and pieces shown on the
runway removed," said a company statement.