Chatter #16: Essential Legal Bytes (Publicity Rights, Same Sex laws, Search Engines, Money Laundering Law, Triple Talaq)
Is Right to Publicity absolute?, Who should make Same Sex laws, Search Engines not innocent, Money Laundering Law per global standards, Triple Talaq cases - 5 legal cases this week
1. Right of Publicity not absolute
The Delhi High Court has ruled that using the names and images of celebrities for purposes such as lampooning, satire, parodies, art, scholarship, academics, news, and similar uses is permitted as part of the right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution.
2. Parliament should make laws, Not the Courts!
The Union government stated its position to the Supreme Court on Tuesday regarding legal recognition for same-sex marriages. The Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Central government, argued that the issue is complex and has social ramifications that require debate by society, states, and civil society groups. Mehta also highlighted that the question of what constitutes a valid marriage and between whom is at the core of the matter. He explained that allowing the prayers could have unintended ramifications on other statutes and that there are 160 legal provisions spanning different statutes that cannot be reconciled if the prayers are allowed. Mehta urged the court to send the matter to the Parliament or state legislatures for consideration. He emphasized that the Parliament has accepted the right to choice, autonomy, and privacy in terms of sexual preference and intimate relationships. Mehta made it clear that no one was making a value judgment and that there was no stigma attached to the issue.
3. Search Engines not Innocent
The Delhi High Court issued instructions on Wednesday to the Central government, Delhi Police, and social media intermediaries to promptly remove Non-Consensual Intimate Images (NCII) from the internet and prevent them from being published again. The Court stated that search engines cannot pretend to be unable to remove illegal content or block access to links that contain such content.
4. Prevention of Money Laundering Act follows global standards
The Solicitor-General for India, Tushar Mehta, told the Supreme Court that the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 conforms to the global standard set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and is part of the intergovernmental response to organized crime. Mehta clarified that India signed an international convention on money laundering and is a member of the FATF, which regularly evaluates progress in complying with its recommendations.
5. Triple Talaq still practiced
The Central government stated to the Supreme Court on Wednesday that although the practice of triple talaq was declared unconstitutional in 2017, it is still being practiced in different parts of the country. In response to the petitions challenging the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act 2019, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta filed an affidavit claiming that the verdict in the Shayara Bano case did not lead to any decrease in the instances of triple talaq, since it still exists. The SG emphasized the need for state intervention to aid victims of such divorces. Despite the Constitution Bench judgment in the Shayara Bano case and the assurance of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, reports of divorce by way of talaq-e-bidat from different parts of the country still persist.