Kerala High Court has rejected Rehana Fathima’s bail application on Friday. Rehana has been currently facing
charges under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) and other Juvenile Justice Act sections for posting a video of her minor children painting on her partially-naked body.
The court has not accepted her arguments where she stated that, as a mother she allowed her children to paint on her, to impart sex education. The court said while the mother had the right to do so privately in her house to educate her children, publicising the video of the act was unacceptable as it attracted charges related to the obscene representation of children.
Last month, Fathima uploaded a video with her two children, a 14-year-old and an 8-year-old, son and daughter respectively, where she was lying down and her minor children were painting her naked body. The video received too much hate as soon as it was uploaded and subsequently, provoked the police to book her under POCSO, Juvenile Justice Act, and other sections. She had pleaded not guilty in a lower court earlier, however, the same was rejected and hence Rehana later moved the High Court.
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In her plea, the mother are argued that her acts were solely intended to enable her children to view body and body parts. She quoted,
A different medium altogether rather than seeing it as a sexual look alone. If children grew up seeing natural bodies, their minds will be liberated of hyper-sexualization of women.
Her plea further added,
In a sexually frustrated society, women simply do not feel safe in clothes. Its high time to open up and tell children what the female body is all about and what sex and sexuality really mean.
The court watched the video and rejected her plea asking her to go through the trial. Justice P V Kunhikrishnan in his order said,
If the painting on the body of the petitioner happened inside four walls of her house, there cannot be any offence. After watching the picture, the court appreciates the talents of children. But not in the way the petitioner encouraged them by uploading the video. We cannot accept her view it as part of sex education.
Fathima said she will now approach Supreme Court for justice.
Fathima had uploaded the video on her Facebook initially, however, later she uploaded it on Youtube as well. She justified her actions by saying her kids did the painting while she was resting and also called it a beautiful artwork. Her post read,
Just as beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, so is porn in the eyes of the beholder.
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After it was uploaded, there was massive uproar calling out how anything and everything was being passed off as empowerment and sexual liberation. Two complaints were filed at different police stations against Fatima after a furore over a video clip.
Fathima, a former BSNL employee hailing from Kochi, had hit the headlines in October 2018 when she was forced to abandon her plan to pray at the Sabarimala temple. Rehana was also fired from her job, where she worked as a junior technician with the BSNL in Ernakulam in May this year. The company fired her as the cases against her were piling up. Last year, she had got arrested on a complaint filed by a right-wing activist claiming she hurt the religious feelings of the Hindu community by posting an objectionable picture on social media. Following this, Rehana was also imprisoned for two months.