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Porn and rape: PIL in Supreme Court seeks collation of crime data to confirm link between rape and viewing of porn

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A public interest litigation has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BDRD) to collect data from state police from investigations into rape cases if there is a link between the viewing of pornographic material and rape. 

Petitioner-in-person Advocate Nalin Kohli submitted that cases of sexual assault and rape against women and infants have increased rapidly in various parts of the country. The petitioner said news articles and police investigations on rape and murder are pointing towards the existence of a link between watching pornographic content or sexually explicit content particularly of a violent/non-consensual nature that appear to have acted as a stimulus for committing rape and/or sexual assault, and thereafter even murder to eliminate evidence.

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The petitioner also urged the court to consider formulating a SOP by its police to include the aspect of viewing of pornographic material while investigating cases of rape and sexual assault. 

The petitioner said sexual assault becomes a matter of even greater concern in an environment where sex education for appropriate sexual behaviour is not part of the education system and treated as socially inappropriate and even a taboo.

It has been highlighted that a recent investigation conducted in Assam into the gruesome murder of a 6-year-old girl has revealed that the four perpetrators (including 2 minor boys between 8 and 11) were porn addicts due to which the Assam Police has issued guidelines to be followed by officers for collecting digital evidence while investigating such offences.

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The increasing and uncontrolled proliferation of pornographic content including those that specifically depict sexual violence against women and children have increased exponentially over the past few years with easy access to the Internet and with the lack of any guidelines and regulatory framework to prevent the same, the petition states. 

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