The controversial case of Kerala activist Rehana Fathima took a surprising turn when her bail plea seeking anticipatory bail was rejected by a Supreme Court bench on Friday. The Kerala activist made it to the headlines once again since the child video case on social media platforms came up last month. In the video, her two minor children – a 14-year-old-boy and eight-year-old girl – were seen painting her semi-nude body. The activist was booked under sections of the POCSO Act (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences), following which she moved to the Supreme Court challenging the Kerala High Court’s rejection of her pre-arrest bail. Rehana Fathima’s plea for protection from arrest over the controversial video was dismissed by the Apex court today.

Calling the act as “spreading obscenity”, a top court bench led by Justice Arun Mishra asked the activist, “Why do you do all this? What impression will growing children get?”

Further adding, “You might be an activist (but) what kind of nonsense is this? It is obscenity you are spreading. It will leave a very bad taste in society,”  NDTV reported.

What You Should Know

  • Kerala activist Rehana Fathima’s plea seeking anticipatory bail was rejected by a SC bench on Friday.
  • Fathima was booked in the case of obscenity. She uploaded a video on social media last month. The video shows her two underage children painting on her semi-nude body. The video later went viral.
  • Rehana tried to enter the Sabarimala Temple sanctum in 2018. 

The activist, in her plea said that she had “intended to normalise the female form for her children and not allow distorted ideas of sexualisation to pervade their minds”. Rehana had tried to enter the Sabarimala sanctum in 2018.

Also Read: “Court Bailing Out Protesters Easily But Not Me,” Rehana Fathima

Earlier the Kerala High Court had rejected her pre-arrest bail plea on July 24. Rehana Fathima then submitted a petition on July 28, 2020. Arguing in her petition that nudity isn’t obscenity, she pointed out saying, “Goddesses in Kerala are frequently depicted in idols and murals with bare breasts. When one prays at the temple the feeling is not of sexual arousal but one of divinity.” Rehana further added, “(Does) female nudity (even when not visible) per se constitutes obscenity? (Can) children painting on their mother’s body can be concluded to be “sexual gratification” and “child abuse” under these stringent laws?”

In response, the court had said, “The expression of the petitioner, while the children are painting on her breast, is also important. Whether that amounts to the use of the children for the purpose of sexual gratification can be finally decided only after a custodial interrogation of the petitioner,” Indian Express reported.

“After watching the picture painted by the children, I have no hesitation to appreciate the talents of the children. They deserve encouragement. But not in the way the petitioner encouraged them by uploading this video. The petitioner, when shot and uploaded these videos in social media, also claims that she wants to teach sex education to the children in the society. I cannot accept this stand of the petitioner,” the judge noted.

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Feature Image Credit: Madhyamam

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