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Chandra Rajakumari And Anr. vs Commissioner Of Police, ...

on 27 October, 1997

Andhra High Court


Chandra Rajakumari And Anr. vs Commissioner Of Police, ... on 27 October, 1997
Equivalent citations: 1998 (1) ALD 810, 1998 (1) ALD Cri 298, 1998 (1) ALT 329
Bench: B Somasekhara
ORDER
1. The third respondent a women Organisation called Prerana Woman's Welfare Organisation,
Hyderabad proposed to hold a beauty contest called 'Miss Andhra Personality Contest' (in short,
beauty contest) on 10-8-1997 at Bharathi Vidya Bhavan, Hyderabad which was opposed by the other
organisations called A.P. Mahila Samakhya, Hyderabad, All India Mahila Samskrithika Sangam
(AIMSS), Progressive Organisation for Women (POW), and one Maharaja Sir Kishen Pershad
Foundation, Hyderabad by sending petitions to the Hon'ble the Chief Justice of this Court, based
upon which this public interest litigation (PIL) was registered as a taken up matter and the
organisations were treated as the petitioners whereas the Respondent No. 1, the Commissioner of
Police, Hyderabad, Respondent No.2, the Government of Andhra Pradesh and Respondent No.3
Prerana Women s Organisation, Hyderabad were called upon to answer the petitioners.
Subsequently, the other respondents were added among whom Respondent 4 is one Dr. Rahna, a
Social activist of Hyderabad was added by virtue of WP.MP.NQ.24994/97 and Respondents 4(a) to
13 were added suo motu by an order of this Court dated 17-10-1997 in view of their proposal to hold
another beauty contest at Hyderabad on 1-11-1997. In view of certain important questions involved
in the case and in the nature of this having been a PIL on such representations, several persons were
permitted to file their affidavits and material papers. On behalf of the petitioners one Chandra Raja
Kumari, Smt Parsha Padma Smt. G, tolitha, Smt. Sandhya, Sri Sunil Tandon, Smt. UmaNaidu, Smt.
Prematatha Dr. C.S. Subba Rao, Smt. Santha, Kumari, Mrs. Chowdary Leela Devi Sri G. Prabhakar
Rao, Mrs. Pushpinder Kour have filed their affidavits, whereas or behalf of the respondents, Smt.
Sarala Ramesh, Secretary of the third respondent Sri R.P. Singh, the Commissioner of Police
Hyderabad and Sri S. V, Ramana Reddy for the suo motu impleaded parties have filed their counter
affidavits. The Respondents 4(a) to 13 did not choose to produce any material or documents inspite
of giving opportunity as they propose to challenge the petition on the ground of locus standi in
addition to this Court having no jurisdiction to entertain this petition under Article 226 of the
Constitution of India to deal with a matter like this.
2. The Petitioners and the memorialists supra have opposed the beauty contest of women in general
and the petitioners have opposed the Respondent No.3 in particular to hold it due to certain serious
allegations. Smt DSR. Krishna, the learned Advocate for the petitioners and the memorialists and
Sri M.A. Ban, the learned Advocate for Respondent No. 4, have raised the common contentions in
addition to the parties raising the contentions as hereunder:
1. Beauty contests are unconstitutional as it offends Article 51 A(e), Article 21 and Article 14 of the
Constitution of India in asmuch as repugnant to International Conventions and Covenants and the
resolutions of the United Nations and Conferences on Women.
2. They are opposed to the decency, public morality and dignity of women in general and women of
Indian society in particular and repugnant to Indian culture, traditions, and the social values.
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Chandra Rajakumari And Anr. vs Commissioner Of Police, ... on 27 October, 1997

3. The beauty contests are intended to exploit women for commercialisation by capitalists and the
business world for enriching themselves at the cost of indecent representation of women in all forms
and by all methods as they are transformed into marketable commodity.
4. They are also intended to divert the youth and the spirit of the youth in the country from their real
problems of socio and economic survival and development by developed countries as against the
developing countries like India
5. They are injurious to the body, the mind and the social existence of the entire womanhood and
the society at large.
6. The beauty contests are discriminatory in choosing women only by vested interests in the society
for personal gain and exploitation
7. The beauty contests are the means to achieve the lecherous and lustful desire of the erratic and
sexual maniacs.
8. The beauty contests in any form amounts to indecent representation of women within the
meaning of Section 2(c) of the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986
prohibited under Sections of the said Act and all its materials prohibited under Section 4 of the Act
are illegal under the Act, they being indecent or derogatory or denigrating women or is likely to
deprave, corrupt or injure the public morality or morals and as they are punishable under Section 6
of the said Act rigorously.
9. The beauty contests in any form outrages the modesty of a woman and amounts to an assault
punishable under Section 364 of IPC and therefore must be taken to be prohibited in law.
10. The beauty contests being grossly indecent, scurrilous or obscene and intended to black mail the
women community of the society amounts to objectionable performance within the meaning of
Section 2(iv) of the A.P. Objectionable Performance Prohibition Act, 1996 and are liable to be
prohibited by the Government under Section 3(1) and by the Dist. Collector under Section 4(1) of the
said Act and punishable under Sections 6 and 7 of the said Act and therefore cannot be held without
the permission of the concerned authorities and the police authorities under Rule 6 and 106 and 108
of the Rules relating to place of public entertainment in the City of Hyderabad 1351 Fasli framed
under Section 21 of the Hyderabad City Police Act, 1348 Fasli and therefore per se illegal and
prohibited in law.
11. The beauty contests in all forms called by any name violates the human rights enshrined in the
Constitution of India in various forms which includes the right of a woman to live happily with
dignity and decency.
12. Beauty contests of women in any form should be prohibited by an independent legislation and
till then to be prohibited or regulated by appropriate directions by this Court in its power under
Article 226 of the Constitution of India
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Chandra Rajakumari And Anr. vs Commissioner Of Police, ... on 27 October, 1997

3. In regard to the beauty contests proposed to be held by the third respondent, the contentions are:
(i)

(ii)

(iii)

Prerana Women' Welfare Organisation is indulging in illegal activities to gather beautif

the organisation is making false advertisements to attract the girls and the ladies to

the organisation under the guise of cultural contest called beauty contest is minting

(iv) such beauty contests are bound to create inferiority complex among women section of socie

(v)

the organisation has undertaken to demean and vulgarise the importance of women by holdi

(vi) the title to be conferred on winning participants in the beauty contests are not certifie

(vii) the beauty contest to be held by the organisation can never be one of its welfare measur

(viii) There should not be any discrimination


in holding such contests only for women and this should be extended to men also to expose them

(ix) An expiry into the misdeeds of the organisation and appropriate action against all the co
ordered;

Mr. Pattabhi and Mr. Ashok Reddy, the learned Advocates for the Respondent No.3 while denying
the allegations against the Respondent No.3 as above and repelling the above contentions have tried
with the contentions taken by the memorialists for Respondent No.3 that the proposed beauty
contest is not first of its kind and it is being held since two or three years with all norms, decency
and dignity of the women and the society at large in addition to following all the required rules and
regulations and to the knowledge of the appropriate authorities including the police and at no time
they have violated any human right or law or any constitutional properties. They have produced
plenty of materials like albums of the photos, videos, magazines etc., in support of their grounds and
contentions. It is also contended by them that the petitioners have been in the habit of troubling the
third respondent by several litigations without any success and this is the latest one of their such
attempts, that none of the allegations made by them attribute any indecent or immoral
representation of women in the beauty contest held by Respondent No.3 and on the other hand such
representations of the petitioners and of the memorialists has been a venting of personal vendetta
due to personal grudge. They have pointed out that certain disappointed persons in the contest have
set up the petitioners to send such representations. They have denied all the allegations of
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misconduct or mismanagement of such beauty contests for personal gain or commercialisation They
have also undertaken that nothing of the kind of misapprehensions expressed by certain persons
before this Court about the women and dignity of women will occur in the proposed beauty contest
to be held by Respondent No.3 nor it has any basis. They also submit that Respondent No.3 is
prepared to abide by any condition to hold the contest which is in tune with the required norms,
properties, the legal discipline and the conformance to law. A any rate, it is contended by them that
a PIL in the present nature is not maintainable in view of the latest pronouncement of the Supreme
Court in Amitabh Corporation Limited v. Mahila Jagrn Manch and others, (in short, ABCL case) and
that this Court will not interfere in such a matter under Article 226 of the Constitution of India as
held by the Supreme Court. Mr. C. V. Mohan Reddy, the learned Advocate for the newly added
Respondents 4(a) to 13, in addition to the grounds taken in the counter affidavit of Respondent
No.3, has contended that in the first place, the impleading of the proposed parties was necessary,
that the allegations against the third respondent will not apply to his parties, that as per Amitabh
Bachan case supra, just because certain persons like petitioners are agitated over such contests, the
Court will not invoke its jurisdiction under Article 226, that the proposed beauty contest is
undertaken by Respondent No.4(a) through other respondents as part of International Tourism of
the year in the interests of the country and they having made all the preparation and investment of
huge sums of money, delegates from more than 50 countries having come to participate in the
contest proposed to be held on 1-11-1997, just because the petitioners are agitated over certain issues
as to women etc., the proposed respondents should not be prevented from holding the contest
genuinely and according to norms. Certain undertakings are also given in the counter affidavit of the
Secretary of the third respondent as to the proper manner in which the contest will be held without
serving alcohol etc.. As a whole, the petition is sought to be rejected without conceding any
contention raised by the petitioners and other similar persons or organisations.
4. Having heard the learned Advocates on both the sides and with the materials on record, this
Court will deal with each contention and the question raised as above.
5. That this is a PIL is beyond any doubt Although the representations of certain organisations were
directed against the third respondent with certain specific allegations against the organisation, their
main basis is the exploitation of women and womanhood in the society in general and Indian society
in particular. Almost all affidavits of the persons supra supporting such a cause espouse the
common grievance of women being used or misused in such beauty contests for various purposes
including commercialisation and exploitation. The interest of women as the integral part of human
society being the womb of the whole society can never be but public interest The public in
expression is a limited section of the society whereas the society is the whole of such public and the
public interest. The women being the core and concern of the existence of society, their interest
should be the true and real public interest for the survival or the destruction of the entire society
even in Amitabh Bachan Corporation case (supra) it was the PIL which was for consideration to deal
with such a question in the context and not the individual interest. Notwithstanding the categoric
allegations against the third respondent and its organisers as a disgruntled and personal vendetta,
the theme of this litigation as a whole is the echo of the voice of women society to include man
society and human society as a whole. That ensures the texture and the complex of PIL in this
litigation taken up on such representation. It may be difficult to define 'PIL' but easy to understand
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it- Despite the contention to the contrary, both the sides appear to reconcile to the status of this
litigation to be a PIL and not individual or a group interest. Thus, the first part of locus standi as a
contest of maintainability of this case deserves to be discarded.
6. The second part of the locus standi of the contest including the jurisdiction of this Court to deal
with such a PIL has a basis in the precedent of the Apex Court in ABCL case (supra). The learned
Advocates relying upon that have tried to seek a strong basis.
That case arose out of Miss World 1996 Contest at Bangalore. There were serious agitations by
certain sections of the society against such a contest. The learned single Judge of the High Court of
Karnataka who dealt with the PIL was of the opinion that the organisers were entitled to hold the
beauty pageant in the form of Miss World 1996 and dismissed the Petition. In the Appeal before the
Division Bench certain directions were issued to the Government and its functionaries to refrain
from taking any steps to assist the organisers of the pageant except to secure law and order on
payment of the requisite amount, that the police security shall be provided only from the State
police force and the Government shall not requisition deployment of any other force, that no
amount should be collected by the Government in holding of the pageant, the organisers were
granted liberty to organise the show as a commercial activity at its own cost, risk and responsibility
subject to the result of the appeal or such orders as it may from lime to time pass and directed the
appellant to deposit Rs.5 lakhs as costs and in the final orders, the Division Bench directed the
holding of Miss World 1996 contest subject to observance of the laws of the land and there should
not be indecent exposure of the body 'of the participants and if they indulge in any such activity the
police shall register a case against them and no liquor in any form shall be served in public to the
participants or any section of the audience, the State was directed to maintain law and order by
deployment of State Police Force and in the emergent situations the other security force already
requisitioned, but in no case the army or the BSF and subject to other severe restrictions imposed in
the order. In the Appeal against the order of the Division Bench to the Hon'ble Supreme Court, with
an interim order dated 22-11 -1996 imposing certain conditions, the Miss World 1996 contest was
held on the day as proposed. The Appeal was disposed of with the reasoning in Paras 7 to 9 as
follows:
"....7. We have thought it proper to make this order as we are distressed that the Division Bench of
the High Court should have entertained the petition. It was necessary to realise that merely because
a section of the people were agitating against the holding of the Pageant, a world event, and had
resorted to violence, demonstration etc., an international event could not be grounded or put under
severe restrictions. The High Court should have realised that the rights of the organisers and other
members of the society had to be protected if a law and order situation was created on account of
such agitation, demonstration etc. If for dealing with the threat to law and order, the State
Government was required to use its Police Force or Security Forces, it was not proper on the part of
the High Court to interfere and give directions in regard to the type of force to be used because it is
very difficult in such situations to visualise what shape the demonstration and agitation may take
and the type of law and order situation which may have to be dealt with. To restrain the State from
using the BSF or the Armed Forces, if necessary, would in certain situations create a very serious
problem as the State would not be able to deal with it in case it turns ugly. This is not an area where
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the Court should exercise its jurisdiction and issue directions because it is difficult to anticipate how
the situation will develop in course of time. This is a function which must be left to the executive as
the judiciary is not equipped to deal with it
8. There can be two views on the question whether such a show is desirable or not. Some may
consider it to be indecent, others may not. Unless any law is violated, the Court ought not to
interfere in such matters. These are not matters which can be judicially assessed and the pressure
which the agitators bring to bear ought not to sway the Court into exercising jurisdiction. In the facts
and circumstances of this case, we are of the opinion that the Court would have been well advised
not to interfere in the matter and leave it to the authorities to sort it out.
9. Although now the matter has become academic, in the sense that the event is over, we have
thought it necessary to say these few words so that in future the Court may not be swayed into
exercising jurisdiction in such cases. The Appeal will stand disposed of accordingly. Rupees five
lakhs ordered to be deposited by the interim order of the Division Bench shall be refunded to the
appellants (Emphasis applied) With these expressions of the Apex Court, the learned Advocates for
the contesting respondents think that all questions relating to beauty pageants are at a close not to
be determined by Courts particularly under Article 226 of the Constitution of India by the High
Court, the Apex Court was distressed of the Division Bench of Karnataka interfering with the same
in the PIL, that it was left to the authorities to sort it out, that in future the Court may not be swayed
into exercising discretion in such cases, that even costs were ordered to be recovered from the
concerned persons for having put the organisers to heavy loss and the same circumstances and the
result should follow in this case also- Such a contention fails to convince this Court. Patently, no law
was declared whether beauty contest is violative of any law, whether the Miss World 1996 contest
violated any law and on the other hand the matter was disposed of in view of the facts and
circumstances of that case having due regard to the grounds of the PIL mentioned in Para 7 of the
precedent and the matter having become academic as the event was over with a caution that the
Courts may not be swayed in future into exercising jurisdiction into such cases and having due
regard to the conduct of the parties costs were directed to be recovered. The only law on the topic
which was declared in the precedent by the Apex Court is that unless any law is violated the Court
ought not to interfere into such matters for the purpose of Article 141 of the Constitution of India as
the law declared by the Supreme Court to be the law of the land. Furthermore, a careful reading of
the precedent shows that it had nothing to do with so many questions which are being considered
and to be determined in this case, particularly, the serious question whether beauty contest in any
form would violate so many laws mentioned above and in particular. The Indecent Representation
of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986. Although such a law was in existence on the date of the
precedent, it was not even brought to the notice of the Apex Court to decide whether the beauty
contests are prohibited under the said Act. Even other enactments to be considered in this case were
not the subject matters of the case before the Supreme Court. Moreover, the facts and circumstances
of the ABCL case supra are totally different from this case having so many grounds and not merely
the agitation of some of the sections of the society. The whole fabric and the relevancy of holding
beauty contests repugnant to public morality and decency and the dignity of woman are being
agitated in the background of constitutional implications and also human rights. There is also no fiat
accompli of the matter as the beauty show proposed to be held by the third respondents and
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Respondent 4(a) in the manner to be held are being questioned and being tested on the facts and
circumstances of this case apart from the general questions. On the other hand, Para 8 of the
precedent has left the scope to still decide whether such beauty contest is violative of any law
regarding which the Courts ought to interfere in such matters and not merely to be swayed to
exercise jurisdiction in such cases. Therefore, this Court has proposed to act within the very
expressions of the precedent having due regard to the facts and circumstances of this case and the
laws operating upon them at the moment in addition to the decided law on such questions both in
the statutory law and precedents of Courts.
7. None of the parties have ventured to explain the beauty contest in general and in particular about
the manner in which the third respondent and Respondent 4(a) are going to hold them. However,
the third respondent has proposed to demonstrate that such a beauty contest is not derogatory of
any known decency, morals and public morals including any law relating to obscenity etc., But still it
is certain that beauty contests are understood by all in this litigation and the outside world of
women being the participants and winners or losers and the beneficiaries are the organisers, both
for commercial purposes and the exploitation of the beauty in the woman for various purposes
including the sponsorers, the Government as a part of International Tourism etc, and for the
pleasure in the form of entertainment not only to the audience of the shows but also to the general
public through several media like press, Doordarshan, All India Radio and any global transmissions
both nationally and internationally. The counter affidavits filed on behalf of the third respondent
and the Respondent No. 4(a) and also so many materials produced by the third respondent
emphatically express such an intention. Thus, the factual intendment of the object of the beauty
contests is the representation of the woman in several forms for contest and judgment not only on
the podium or the stage in a place or auditorium but also for the gaze of the entire world. There is
not even a slight indication in this case about men being such objects of public and global
representation. It is also not their stand that the organisers are only women and that there is no
participation of men in such shows. The inference emanating from the facts and circumstances of
this case and the generality of such shows is the exploitation of the beauty of the woman for such
purposes by representation in the form of beauty shows or beauty pageants. From number of photos
and magazines and news paper cuttings produced in the case and from the common knowledge and
to take judicial notice of such contests it is certain women being subjected to several tests of physical
beauty and form including vital standards before certain Judges (perhaps of both genders or mostly
men styled as experts in the field regarding which no basis is established) and then paraded several
times in various dresses including bikinis called, rounds and then eliminating all by certain methods
except the winners after putting certain questions by the judges which they think will fix the
intellectual standards of the participants. To explore the Internet in the computers in web sites to
take judicial notice in the development of the technology and science undoubtedly barring very few
contests in certain countries all such pageants represent woman. (Vide Web
sites.htlp://www.Yahoo, com, ww.pageant, PNB (Play Boy News Bureau) etc., is full of such news
and views. Thus the beauty contests called by several names are meant for depiction or exhibition
and representation of women (Sometimes men) mainly in body and her will and to some extent the
mind to participate undoubtedly for the benefit of the commercial world principally and for the
searchful gaze of the lustful eyes whether for art, for science or for vicarious and direct gratifications
as per the allegations which are not far from truth.
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8. That beauty is part of the whole universal expression as understood by one and all. That beauty is
the sense or the essence of human comprehension and pleasure is beyond doubt. It is the joy for
ever in the acclaimed poetic declaration in literature. That beauty is the best dimension of nature or
divine is also a concluded theological postulation The Indian or even Sanatana or ancient Dharmic
or religious thinking also mounts beauty into one of the three forms of God viz., (Sathyam (truth),
Shivam (good) and Sundaram (beauty). Possibly, no section of human society should be opposed to
beauty nor it is opposed. Mr. Bari, the learned Advocate, has well projected the real concept and the
meaning of' 'beauty'' in his own literary style. That conforms to the well understood legal and
literary and dictionary expressions. Strictly speaking, no law lexicons have ventured to define beauty
nor any legislation has done it rightfully as it is known to one and all in their own way. But for our
purpose when the beauty and beauty contests or pageants have become the theme of this case, the
task becomes necessary to borrow the grammatical and dictionary meanings so that it may become
the legal definition declared by a precedent. Beauty means "a combination of qualities such as
shape, colour etc., that pleases the aesthetic senses especially site, a combination of qualities that
pleases the intellect of moral sense (the beauty of the argument), an excellent specimen, an
attractive feature, an advantage a beautiful woman" (P.96 L.C. of the Concise Oxford Dictionary
New Edition) and "combination of qualities that give pleasure to the senses (especially eye, ear or to
the mind)'', (P.92 RC. Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary Fourth Edition, 1994), "quality that is
pleasing to the eye" (P.32, RC. Webster's Dictionary-New Revised and expanded Edition), and "the
qualities in a person or thing that give pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exhaled the mind or
spirit, loveliness, a beautiful person or thing, especially a beautiful woman, excellent quality (P.42,
L.C., the Penguin English Dictionary Reprint 1992). The Thesaurus has put it into an enveloped
meaning viz., harmony, attractiveness, beautifulness, and charmer and the word beautiful is
included into artistic, beautious and bravo, ornament and prettified (533.2, 1015, 1015.1, 1015.8,
712.20, 1015.17, 509.22, 392.10, 498.8 and 1015.15 of the Original Roget's International Thesaurus,
5th Edition). The sum total of the beauty cult is the excellence of the total expression of a human
being appealing to the senses of a human being and particularly with reference to a woman being
the object of beauty comparatively to the man who is called handsome which expression conveys the
better expression of beauty and more beautiful than beautiful. Therefore, if the beauty contest is
meant only for exploration of such beauty in handsome and handsome in beauty possibly no law or
no logic can object it. If beauty is objected by any law in that sense the presumption is in favour of
antonym ugly which is beyond the conception of the beauty of the beautiful human race called
human beings. With all close scrutiny of the existence of law as a fact, there appears to be no law on
this earth which prohibits beauty or human beings of either sex to be beautiful in any manner.
9. Similar as is beauty for definition in law, so is the beauty contest Barring the ABCL case supra
dealing with such a contest without having no occasion to define beauty or beauty contest, there
appears to be no other precedent so far to deal with such a topic. But, such contests having become
part of several contests in the human experience, have entered the dictionary world recently. In the
context of meaning into "beauty queen", such a contest is explained as the woman judged most
beautiful in a competition (P.96 L.C., Concise Oxford Dictionary). The" adjective of it is attributory
as a beauty competition/contest, that is, one in which Judges decide on the most beautiful
competitor. (P.92 of the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary supra). A beauty charmer in French
is called Charmeuse to mean beauty queen, beauty contest winner, Miss. America, bathing beauty,
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glamour girl, cover girl, model, sex goddess, enchantress etc., (P.781, 1015.8 item L.C. of Roget's
Thesaurus supra). So, a beauty contest should be defined as one in which the Judges decide the
winner as the most beautiful woman in the context within the meaning of beauty having
combination of qualities such as shape, colour that pleases the aesthetic sense, esp. the site and
pleasing to the eye, a combination of qualities that pleases the intellect or moral sense. Strikingly no
law can venture to define the beauty contest to suit all occasions. A beauty queen or a winner in a
beauty contest cannot be better than a winner in any other contest in a particular situation, among
the participants and judged by certain individuals to choose the winner in that contest and not as a
person called beautiful among all the human beings for all the time. It may depend upon the facts
and circumstances of each case of contest. For instance, it may depend upon the manner and the
method in which the contest is held, the quality and the quantity of the participants and the faculty
or the expertise of the persons to select called Judges, In a country like India as rightly pointed out
by Smt DSR Krishna, the learned Advocate, when the people are struggling for existence and in
particular when the women and weaker sections of the society cannot even think of such a contest,
the participation to represent the beauties of the society should be minimal or insignificant when
compared to the mammoth population of which the country is worried. The relevance of these
expressions are only for contemplating the purpose behind such a contest as either a sport,
entertainment or fun to create opportunities for women or the men as the case may be to develop
sportsmanship, to shed inhibition and develop good relationship in the social set up. If that is the
true intent of such beauty contests, none muchless any law can think of prohibiting it. But the real
grievance of the petitioners and the objectors thinking in that line as is recorded above appears to be
that such contests are leading to obscenity, exploitation of women and degradation of dignity and
womanhood in all forms for commercialisation and lust. That is where we are examining whether
the beauty contests would tend to such consequences and whether they are prohibited in law as
contended
10. There is no need to explain or define a woman as a person to include man also, In any society,
woman is the womb of the whole human race. The quality of the human race sprouts from the
quality of the woman. The depravity and demoralisation of woman speaks of the degenerated and
demoralised human race. Both from the physical mental and also social implications, the quality
and the existence of the human race is directly proportional to the expected standards of woman
society. Therefore, the society and the State is duty bound to preserve and maintain the women of
the society in highest standards with greatest respect and concern for the survival of the society in
particular and human race as a whole. Any damage done to them in suicidal of the human race. If
the human beings of either gender damage such sacred and important section of the society, no law
should allow it, for the law will never aim destruction. The prelude is to examine if beauty contests
are consequential or means to such destruction.
11. A woman both in the eye of law and the society is not merely a person either in the gender or the
existence. She has an inherent personality since birth called 'womanhood'. A woman is the mother
first before having any other status. The age factor is not determinative of the status or the existence
of womanhood. The Apex Court has conclusively declared in this regard while dealing with the cases
of outraging the modesty of woman punishable under Section 354 of IPC, which in all respect should
operate wherever the modesty of a woman is outraged. A woman is defined in Section 10 of the
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Indian Penal Code denoting female gender of any age. A woman is possessed of a great born virtue
called 'modesty', to mean 'womanly propriety of behaviour, scrupulous chastity of thought, speech
and conduct (in men or women) reserve or sense of shame proceeding from instinctive aversion to
impure or coarse suggestions." (Oxford English Dictionary 1993 Edition, obviously not referring to a
woman but accepted notions of behaviour and conduct and it is in that sense the expression appears
to have been used in Section 354 of IPC) (State of Punjab v. Major Singh, , Major Singh Lachhman
Singh v. State, ). The more appropriate meaning of 'modest' and especially of woman having
modesty would be their appearance or behaviour having or showing respect for conventional ideas
of decency and purity, a modest dress, blouse, neckline etc., one that is not sexually provocative
(P.798, of R.C. Oxford Advance Learners Dictionary supra). Thus, any contest much less beauty
contest offending such modesty of woman should be necessarily not only illegal but also derogatory
of woman and woman's dignity and the whole existence. In other words, such contests in method or
modality offends dress norms and exposes the body or the human frame of a woman in any manner
or to any extent and become sexually provocative would necessarily offend the modesty of a woman,
thus illegally subjugating to social and moral values and legally prohibited. In the context as laid
down in Major Singh 's case supra, neither the knowledge of the person offended nor the motive
becomes relevant as the consequence is outraging the inherent modesty of a woman. The sense is
that the consent of the participants, the audience, or the viewers becomes redundant as long as the
result is the ravishing of modesty. The converse of seduction of men in the same fashion must be
equally true although nothing of the kind of modesty is attributed to the male society.
12. Therefore the beauty contest which may not be with its true meaning in the above sense may not
be illegal or obscene as long as the expected standards of modesty, dignity and preservation of
womanhood and woman's right in society are maintained. But the violation of such standards must
naturally offend the normal public morality and public opinion
13. In the same background of the legal thinking supra, the beauty contests without violating such
norms may not be obscene, but conversely they may create obscenity on violating such known
standards of public morality and public opinion as pointed out in ABCL case supra which is still
being debated whether it will be indecent and unreasonable. But the law relating to obscenity and
repugnance to public morality and opinion appears to have been settled by the Apex Court more
than once viz., in Ranjit D. Udeshi v. State of Maharashtra, , Chandrakant Kalyandas Kakodkar v.
State of Maharashtra, , and Deepa v. S.I. of Police, 1986 CrlL.J. 1120. The Hon'ble Supreme Court
was dealing with an offence punishable under Section 292 of IPC, the question being whether a book
is obscene or not in Ranjit Udeshi's case supra in the back ground of freedom of speech and
expression guaranteed by the Constitution under Article 19(1)(a) and (5). It was held therein that the
test must obviously of a general character but it must admit of a just application from case to case by
indicating a line of demarcation not necessarily sharp but sufficiently distinct to distinguish between
that which is obscene and that which is not. It was pointed out that none has so far attempted a
definition of obscenity because the meaning can be laid bare without attempting a definition by
describing what must be looked for, however, to be stated that at once that treating with sex and
nudity in art and literature cannot be regarded as evidence of obscenity without something more.
The test of obscenity must square with the freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under the
Constitution. (Para 16 of the precedent). It was also pointed that Section 292 does not go beyond
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obscenity which falls directly within the words 'public decency and morality' denoting the quality of
being obscene which means offensive to modesty or decency, lewd, filthy and repulsive. It was
emphatically declared that it cannot be denied that it is an important interest of society to suppress
obscenity' and that there is some difference between obscene and pomography in that the latter
denotes writings, pictures, etc., intended to arouse sexual desire while the former may include
writing etc., not intended to do so but which have that tendency and both, of course, offend against
public decency and morals but pornography is obscenity in a more aggravated form (Para 7 of the
precedent). This equally applies to beauty contests to judge the consequences as declared above. The
writing or a speech as freedom of expression may be synonymous to the representation of woman in
visible form called beauty contests, a live show of such form to have the same consequences and
therefore a beauty contest should satisfy such tests as are being laid down in Ranjit Udeshi's case
supra, Mr. Ashok Reddy, the learned Counsel for the third respondent, is also right in pointing out
that as laid down by the Supreme Court in Phoolan Devi 's case, the mere showing of a nude scene in
a film may not be obscene as long as it fits into the story and the context. But such a context will be
totally absent in a beauty contest as a form of art or sport and not the exposure of woman in partial
or full nude and in a case of out of context, the beauty contest may become obscene within the tests
laid down in Ranjit Udeshi 's case supra. The meaning and concept of obscenity and has been dealt
with in Chandrakant's case supra in categoric terms and nothing more than repetition of Para 13 can
bring out the categoric expressions of the Apex Court and to repeat"...,. The concept of obscenity would differ from country to country depending on the standards of
morals of contemporary society. What is considered as a piece of literature in France may be
obscene in England and what is considered in both countries as not harmful to public order and
morals may be obscene in our country. But to insist that the standard should always be for the writer
to see that the adolescent ought not to be brought into contact with sex or that if they read any
reference to sex in what is written whether that is the dominant theme or not they would be affected,
would be to require authors to write books only for the adolescents and not for the adults. ..... The
standards of contemporary society in India are also fast changing. The adults and adolescents have
available to them a large number of classics, novels, stories and pieces of literature which have a
content of sex, love and romance. As observed in Udeshi's case, if a reference to sex by itself is
considered obscene, no books can be sold except those which are purely religious. In the field of art
and cinema also the adolescent is shown situations which even a quarter of a century ago would be
considered derogatory to public morality, but having regard to changed conditions are more taken
for granted without in any way tending to debase or debauch the mind. What we have to see is that
whether a class, not an isolated case, into whose hands the book, article or story falls suffer in the
moral outlook or become depraved by reading it or might have impure and lecherous thoughts
aroused in their minds. The charge of obscenity must, therefore, be judged from this aspect."
The meaning of obscenity in Udeshi's case has been adopted in this case also as follows :
"..... that where obscenity and art are mixed, art must so preponderate as to throw the obscenity into
a shadow or the obscenity so trivial and insignificant that it can have no effect and may be
overlooked. In other words, treating with sex in a manner offensive to public decency and morality
(and these are the words of our Fundamental Law), judged of by our national standards and
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considered likely to pander to lascivious, prurient or sexually precocious minds, must determine the
result. We need not attempt to bowdlerise all literate and thus rob speech and expression of
freedom. A balance should be maintained between freedom of speech and expression and public
decency and morality but when the latter is substantially transgressed the former must give way.''
The test of obscenity is adopted from the expressions of Cockburn, C.J., in Hicklin's case as"I think the test of obscenity is thus, whether the tendency of the matter charged as obscenity is to
deprave and corrupt those whose minds are open to such immoral influences and into whose hands
publication of this sort may fall. It is quite certain that it would suggest to the minds of the young of
either sex, or even to persons of more advanced years, thought of most impure and libidinous
character."
In the considered opinion of this Court, the same meaning and the consequences of the principles
supra applies to beauty contest also. In other words, when once beauty contests transgress the true
intent as above and falls within the definition of obscenity, they may even become an offence, if put
into writing or expression in any writing or possible form, thus becoming illegal to be permitted. Mr.
MA. Ban, the learned Counsel, is totally right in relying upon Deepa 's case supra in postulating that
mere knowledge or consent of such consequences are not relevant in such cases. The High Court of
Kerala was dealing with Section 294 of IPC while examining the consequences of a cabaret show in a
public place and held that although such a show has been previously advertised as to what is going
to be performed, a person attending a cabaret show in a hotel with full knowledge of what is going to
be performed can certainty complain as long as it causes annoyance. Equally this principle applies to
the participants of the beauty shows and the viewers of beauty shows who feel annoyed at a
particular stage if it goes beyond the purpose of art, entertainment and public morality and
decencies. Mr. M.A. Bari, the learned Advocate may not be totally wrong in postulating that beauty
shows like "Cabret shows may transform into an offence punishable under Section 294 IPC. The
Courts or the authorities in a situation are thus to examine whether such beauty shows treating the
women and her beauty of which sex is an integral part in such a way to offend public morality and
decency and considered likely to pander to lascivious, prurient or sexually precocious mind.
Therefore, to conclude, beauty contests in any form is prohibited in law and punishable in a
particular situation under the circumstances stated above.
14. It was rightly contended that to hold beauty contests is not a fundamental right guaranteed
under Chapter III and the prohibition of such contests is violative of Articles 14 and 19(a) and (g) of
Constitution of India. It is not demonstrated that holding of such contests would be the practice of
any profession, to carry on any occupation, trade or business of Article 19(a) of the Constitution,
even assuming that such contests as is sought to be projected may be commercialisation by
capitalists or businessmen. The State can put reasonable restrictions in law in the interests of public
order, decency, morality, defamation or insightment to an offence. Article 51A(e) in Part IVA of the
Constitution imposes a duty on every citizen of India to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity
of woman. It is true that the line of thinking of enforcement of duties by mandamus or legal remedy
had the support of Rajasthan High Court in Surya v. Union of India, , and our High Court in
Dasarathi v. State, . But such a line of legal thinking has to be diverted to affirmative thinking in
view of the dictum of the Supreme Court in Rural Litigation Kendra v. State of UP. , Sachidanand v.
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Slate of West Bengal, 1987 SC 1109 and Mehata v. Union of India, . At any rate, there may be laws
enacted by the States to enshrine the intendment of the Constitution under Article 51A(e) and in the
absence also it must be supplemented in extraordinary circumstances through judicial intervention
popularly called in these days as 'judicial activism' in the field of the State passivism. Therefore, if
beauty shows tend to practices derogatory to the dignity of woman in any manner, which includes
the modesty, protected in the provision, should be constitutionally prohibited. In other words, Smt.
DSR. Krishna, the learned Advocate is right in postulating that the dignity of woman is
constitutionally protected and the beauty contests in a manner as to derogate or trample the same
should be prevented and prohibited.
15. The learned Advocates Smt. DSR. Krishna, Mr. M.A. Bari and memorialist Smt. P. Padma (who
argued personally) are right in pointing out that the rights of women to be protected in such a
situation have been internationally accepted in several conferences and conventions and accepted by
the UNO (4th World Conference on Women, Beijing, China 14-15th September, 1995 - Published by
United Nations 1996 - item (J) - Woman and the media portraying woman primarily as consumers
and target girls including pornographic media expression) and Convention on the elimination of all
forms of discrimination against women adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly which is often
described as an International Bill of rights for women)-- It is stated therein that the convention is
only the human rights treaty and the countries that have ratified have acceded to the convention or
legally bound to put the convention into practice. Article 6 of the Part I of the Convention of UNO is
pointed out that states are bound to take all appropriate measures including legislation to suppress
all traffic in women and exploitation of prostitution of women in addition to Article 2 to deal with
establishing the legal protection of the rights of women. The beauty contests may violate such bill of
rights of women if it exceeds the real purpose of contest and therefore to be eschewed by the
International community appropriately. These expressions are made only to visualise the protection
against exploitation of women in all forms including beauty contests and not as an individual or a
country theme. The relevancy of this has arisen due to such contests commencing from a place,
school, district, and spreading to the State, countries and then internationally (as is sought to be
done by the suo motu impleaded parties and the Bangalore Miss Universe contest Petitioner No.2).
Smt Padma, effectively placed this phenomena that it may spread to the nooks and corners of the
world deroding into every day life of the society and demolishing the dignity of women in all forms.
16. Strictly speaking, there is no specific legislation prohibiting beauty contests in any form. But in
the considered opinion of this Court, there are few legislations or laws through which misuse of
beauty contests can be prevented, checked, controlled and prohibited in addition to punishing the
guilty of such misuse or abuse. They are:
1. Indian Penal Code (Central Law).
2. The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986 (Central Act).
3. A.P. Objectional Performances (Prohibition) Act, 1956 (Act No.8/56).

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4. Rules relating to Places of Public Entertainment in the City of Hyderabad, 1351 F framed under
Section 21 of Hyderabad City Police Act, 1348 F.
17. As already indicated the relevant provisions in the Indian Penal Code Sections 292, to 295, 354
etc., will take care of preventing and punishing the offenders indulging in outraging the modesty of
women and indecently representing them in certain forms under the guise of entertainment.
(D. Udeshi's case and Deppa 's case supra). The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition)
Act, 1986 (in short, IRW Act) is, primarily depended upon by Mrs. DSR. Krishna and Mr. MA. Ban,
the learned Advocates to postulate total prohibition of beauty contests meant for indecent
representation of woman. Mr. Ashok Reddy, the learned Advocate, without controverting this,
contended that the third respondent is proposing to hold beauty contest within the decencies
expected of and not to indecently represent the woman. Mr. C.V. Mohan Reddy, the learned
Advocate for the suo motu impleaded parties made some attempt to put the beauty contests out of
the IRW Act Possibly, this Act being the first of its kind dealing with such a topic and also being
short may be briefly recorded. It has only 10 sections. Section 1, Short title, extent and
commencement, Section 2 definitions, Section 3 prohibition of advertisements containing indecent
representation of women, Section 4 prohibition of publication or sending by post of books,
pamphlets etc., containing indecent representation of Women, Section 5 powers to enter and search,
Section 6 penalty, Section 7 offences by Companies, Section 8 offences to be cognizable and bailable,
Section 9 protection of action taken in good faith and Section 10 power to make rules. The preamble
of the said Act reads : An act to prohibit indecent representation of women through advertisements
or in publications, writings, paintings, figures or in any other manner and for matters connected
therewith or incidental thereto. This rejects the contention that this Act concerns only
advertisements, publications, writings, and paintings and no other item including beauty contest.
The expression is so categoric and clear that the Act is intended to prohibit indecent representation
of women in any manner and intended to the matters connected therewith and incidental thereto.
That should directly attract beauty contests if they indecently represent a woman. The prefactory
note, viz., the statement of objects and reasons indicate that the law relating to obscenity in the
country codified in Sections 292 to 294 of IPC are not sufficient to deal with the growing problems
of indecent representation of woman in various methods including publications and in particular
advertisements etc., denigrating woman and derogatory to women. The pith and core and The
theme of the Act with the prohibition of indecent representation of women is defined in Section 2(c)
of the Act to be repeated herein:
"2. In this Act, unless context otherwise requiresa) xxx
b) xxx
c) ' 'indecent representation of women'' means the depiction in any manner of the figure of a
woman, her form or body or any part thereof in such a way as to have the effect of being indecent, or
derogatory to, or denigrating, women, or is likely to deprave, corrupt or injure the public morality or
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morals."
If beauty contests as is known or contended depicts a woman in figure, body or part so as to have the
effect of being indecent etc., as above, they should amount to indecent representation of women. Mr.
Mohan Reddy, the learned Advocate thinks that the expression 'depiction' in the definition means
only advertisements, publications, writings and paintings, which has no support either in the
language or in the Act we are dealing. As a noun and to become a verb, it means to represent by a
picture, or to describe (P.247, of Penguin English Dictionary supra). It also means 'show' (P.321 of
Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary supra). The synonym of 'depict' is represent, describe, enact
and portrary. (349.8. 349.9,704.30 and 712.19 in Roget's International Thesaurus supra). Therefore,
the language in literature has confirmed that depiction is representation within the meaning of the
law in the definition Section 2(c) of the Act. The elaboration of the preamble and the expressions in
the definition further reinforces that the depiction of woman in any manner as indicated in the
definition applies to the beauty contests also. As already pointed out, the beauty contests in all or
any forms are meant to use the figure of a woman, her form, her body or any part for deciding
whether she is beautiful as a whole or in part for the benefit of not only the Judges or the organisers
but to one and all including the audience physically present in the auditorium or the place of contest
but also the millions of TV viewers all over the world in addition to seeing them in magazines,
pictures, slides, etc., etc.. If they have the effect of being indecent or derogatory to or denigrating
women or likely to corrupt or injure the public morality or morals, it would be undoubtedly indecent
representation of women. As already pointed out, the Internet web sites are full of such indecent
representation of women, a sample of which is printed and filed in the case records. Added to it, Mr.
Mohan Reddy, the learned Advocate is not able to explain nor produced any materials to make the
things transparent as to what Respondent No.4(a) and other respondents would mean by Miss Skin,
Miss Congeniality, Miss. Smile, Miss. Photogenic etc., etc., (vide the paper advertisement in Eenadu
and Deccan Chronicle) dated 16-10-97. The eye brows of all reasonable and prudent men and
women would rise as to which part of the skin or what form of congeniality of the women the
organisers are going to put to contest and the Judges to decide and others to watch and understand.
That leaves a clear suspicion that they are intended for representation of women in all forms
including figure, body, any and every part without restriction, in fact or in law, having the effect of
the consequences mentioned in the definition. Atleast, the third respondent has produced plenty of
materials to show that they are holding the contest in the normal way with full and good dress to
represent the women with beauty in the normal manner which a reasonable and prudent man would
think and understand, which the petitioners or any other memorialist has not rebutted by producing
any other material. But if at anytime, they tend to indecently represent the women within the
meaning stated above, they will be open for the operation of the Act for the legal consequences.
Therefore, without any hesitation it must be declared that the beauty contests may become indecent
representation of women if they have the effect of being indecent or derogatory to denigrating
women public morals and morality. The second limb of this expression is already explained and
concluded in the background of the law laid down by the Apex Court in the precedents supra
Therefore it would be a question of fact in each case whether such beauty contest would have such
effects supra, to be operated by the Act.

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18. Section 3 of this Act deals with the prohibition of such indecent representation of women. It is
true that the title and the expression therein mention advertisements containing indecent
representation of women for the sake of prohibition Section 4 similarly deals with the prohibition of
publication or sending by post of books etc., containing indecent representation of women, which
includes selling, letting on hire, distribute, circulate, send by post any book, pamphlet, paper, slide,
film, writing, drawing, painting, photographs, representation or figure which contains indecent
representation of women in any form. The proviso explains non application of the prohibition to
certain matters for certain purposes including for public good, science, religion etc. At any rate,
beauty contests cannot be brought within the exceptions as unless they are for such purposes. Here
also, Mr. Mohan Reddy, the learned Advocate has a serious contest that the prohibition under
Sections 3 and 4 is restricted only to advertisements etc., or the publication and not the beauty
shows. The contention fails the reason or the relevancy of the object and purpose of the Act. The
expression 'publishused including production in Section 3 and 4 should be synonym to
representation within the meanings stated above. If read with the preamble and the definition under
Section 2(c) of this Act, such expressions appear to have been made in the context to categorise and
not to restrict. It would be neither logical nor legal that what is prohibited for advertisement or
depiction or publication of indecent representation of women to have the effect of being indecent
etc., are permitted for live shows like beauty contests to have the effect of being indecent etc., The
law makers would not have thought of allowing live shows having such effect when depiction in
advertisement, painting etc., were thought to be prohibited. It may mean that the live shows have no
expected effects whereas only records have such effects. In the considered opinion of this Court,
such an interpretation of Sections 3 and 4 read with Section 2(c) in the light of the preamble and the
object and purpose of the Act, may lead to absurd results. This Court has no doubt that indecent
representation of women as is defined under Section 2(c) of the Act to have the effect of being
indecent etc., and all the materials produced intended or used for any purpose are prohibited under
Sections 3 and 4 of the Act Such an inference is strengthened from the other provisions of the Act
Section 5 deals with the powers of search, seize and examination by any Gazetted Officer authorised
by the State Government at all reasonable times to find out that any offence in relation to such
indecent representations are being committed or any such material is being published or any record
or register is available in that connection. Section 6 deals with the penalty for the contravention of
Sections 3 and 4 by way of punishment for first conviction with imprisonment of either description
which may extend to 2 years and with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees and in the
event of second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment for a term of not less than six months
but which may extend to five years but also with a fine not less than Rs. 10,000/- which may extend
to Rs.1 lakh. Even if we think that the live shows amounting to indecent representation of women
are exempted from the penalty as against the records indicated above, the law can never be a tool of
public and social good. If such an offence is committed by a Company, it is made punishable under
Section 7 of the Act and Respondent No. 4(a) being such a Company and the other respondents
aiding and supporting such a cause cannot be but abettors to be punished under such
circumstances. Mr. Mohan Reddy, the learned Advocate was emphatic that such shows are being
inaugurated or associated by the heads of the States like Chief Ministers or similar dignitaries as a
mark of authenticity or bona fides in such shows. This Court cannot but say that the consequences
in law cannot be different for anybody including such dignitaries as it is well known that nobody is
above law. The abetment of such offences may be by anybody without any exception. This inference
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is drawn only in the context of the representation made by the learned Advocate.
19. Section 8 makes the offences under the Act cognizable and bailable, Section 9 the protection of
action taken in good faith as a rule of indemnity and Section 10, the power for the Central
Government to make the rules. Therefore, this Court having considered the 1RW Act in its true
intent and the content declares that beauty contests amounts to indecent representation of women
within the definition of Section 2(c) and prohibited by virtue of Sections 3 and 4 and amounts to an
offence punishable under Sections 6 and 7 of the Act both in regard to the offenders or abettors who
may directly or indirectly encourage, participate, or aid in the holding of such contests.
20. The A.P. Objectionable Performances Act, 1956 (in short, Objectionable Performances Act), is on
the statute book for over four decades and a laudable piece of legislation possibly anticipating that
under the guise of performances so many illegal activities may be perpetrated. Without actually
prohibiting any such performances per se it has provided the parameters wherein a given case the
Government can prohibit such an objectionable performance under Section 3 of the said Act and the
District Collector to pass orders of prohibition of objectionable performances and take action in
accordance with Sections 5 to 10 of the Act with a remedy of appeal to the High Court by aggrieved
person under Sections 11 of the Act. Section 2(2) defines 'objectionable performance' to mean any
performance which is grossly indecent, scurrilous or obscene or intended for black mailing. The
moment beauty contests come within the definition the State Government and Dist. Collector (of the
District) (who is also defined as the Commissioner of Police for twin cities of Hyderabad and
Secunderabad) to pass appropriate orders and punish the offenders with a remedy by way of appeal
to the High Court for the aggrieved persons. If the beauty contests are grossly indecent, scrurrilous,
or obscene within the settled law and the known norms as above, there can be no doubt that they
would be objectionable performances within the definition to be dealt with under the Act. This Court
is of the considered opinion that under this law also beauty contests are to be operated.
21. Mr. Krishna Mohan, the learned GP was right in relying upon the Rules relating to place of
public entertainment framed under Section 21 of the Hyderabad City Police Act to bring beauty
contests within such public entertainment for the purpose of licensing under Rule 6 and Rule 106
and 108 of the said Rules. It may be recalled that the Commissioner of Police had rejected
permission for Respondent No.3 to hold the beauty contest on the ground of law and order problem
and under the ground that it would offend the sentiment of certain protestors like women
organisations. It is true that the authorities under the said Rules are empowered to grant or reject
the permission to hold such beauty contests for certain reasons possibly including the law and order
problem also. But it must be emphasised that such permissions cannot be rejected only on such
grounds which should be dealt with by the State normally with appropriate police force depending
upon the circumstances of each case. It should also be made clear that by virtue of the IRW Act and
also the Objectionable Performances Act, granting or rejecting such permissions should be
considered. The police authorities are entitled to consider whether any performance like beauty
contests in any form would be indecent representation of women in any form and would be
objectionable performance as above before granting or rejecting the licence. With all this, in the
context stated above that beauty contests themselves may not be obscene etc., and can be indecent
representation of women, but the organisers or the applicants for licence or permission are expected
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to produce all the materials before the authorities to convince that such beauty contests would not
be offensive or repugnant to the intendment of law or the laws as the case may be supra. It cannot be
forgotten that although there is no provision in either of the laws or the Rules that opportunity
should be granted to the applicants before passing an adverse order or even granting the permission
or licence, the natural justice and the transparency in exercising the authority by the officers in the
administration, the principles of natural justice warrants not only a reasonable opportunity for the
affected persons and justification for the officers to grant or reject such permission or licence, so
that it will be open for scrutiny by the judicial control, both in law and the Article 226 and 227 of the
Constitution of India Or otherwise, there may be scope for arbitrary exercise of power and an abuse
of power and discretion in a particular situation.
22. It is contended that holding of beauty contests only for women and not for men is discriminatory
under Article 14 of the Constitution. There is no substance in this contention. It can be judicially
noticed that such contests are being held for men also, the latest being Mr. India or Mr. World, Mr.
Handsome Contest published in Kannada Prabha newspaper recently dated 22-10-97 the contention
lacks the lustre as there is no grievance by the male section in the society and they may raise it in
some context which will be appropriately dealt with. The relevance in such a contention may only lie
in the intent of holding such contests only for women as an object of representation for all offending
Article 51A of the Constitution. It is also relevant and expedient to hold without any reservation that
if beauty contests tend to offend the dignity of a woman to deal with her indecently in the
circumstances amounting to indecent representation in any form, they are bound to offend Article
21 of the Constitution of India as right to live includes right to live with dignity and decency and
right to live happily. Any violation of the women society in the country in body or mind leading to
justifiable unhappy existence is bound to attract Article 21 of the Constitution Therefore, this Court
without hesitation should hold that beauty contests are repugnant to dignity or decency etc., offends
Article 21 of the Constitution also.
23. In so far as Respondent No.3 is concerned, the allegations regarding holding of beauty contest
are very clear. They are individual instances of mismanagement They should be examined by the
police authorities or any authority of the Government according to law to take appropriate action
against them if the allegations are true. There is not even one instance pointed out as rightly stated
by Mr. Ashok Reddy and Mr. Pattabhi, for Respondent No.3 that any of their shows indecently
represented the women and that being the true issue in this case, there is no reason to debar them
from holding the contest except under the circumstances stated above which will be dealt with by
the appropriate authorities. In so far as Respondent No.4(a) to 13 are concerned, they have
suppressed the relevant materials to be produced before the Court to atleast know as to how the
contests are being held. On the other hand, the advertisements in the local newspapers based upon
which they were impleaded as parties show that there may be lot of scope for indecent
representation of women as each part or items of the body and the conduct of women is being tested
at various places. Unless they are explained before the appropriate authorities seeking permission or
licence, such impressions cannot be erased. The exploration of each part of the body of a woman
through beauty contests as indicated in the newspapers supra are bound to attract the provisions
stated above in law in addition to constitutional implications which should be taken into
consideration by the appropriate authorities while granting or rejecting the licence/permission. Mr.
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Chandra Rajakumari And Anr. vs Commissioner Of Police, ... on 27 October, 1997

Krishna Mohan, the learned GP is right in postulating with ABCL case supra, that this Court will not
give any finding in relation to such contests including the respondents and in the background of the
law declared, the matter may be left to the authorities to sort them out to be open for all legal
consequences.
24. In the backdrop of rationale on the theme of this PIL when the matter is left to the authorities to
deal with the matter appropriately, keeping open the rights of the parties to exhaust the legal
remedies available both in common law and the Constitution of India, as the real question would be
whether a particular beauty contest is offending the declared law as above to pass appropriate
orders by the authorities, since such consequences depends upon the facts and circumstances of
each case, it is appropriate that a panel of persons from various sections of the society should watch
any such beauty contest or proceedings and to submit a report to the appropriate authorities with
their views and recommendations upon which the authorities are to take necessary action as per
law, this Court deems it fit to direct the authorities to impose such conditions as are necessary to
achieve the real purpose behind preventing, checking, controlling and prohibiting such beauty
contests as per law while granting such permissions or licences by the appropriate authorities.
25. Since there is no appropriate legislation in relation to the beauty contests for such purposes as
above, having considered all the dimensions of issues relating to such contests, this Court proposes
to stipulate certain conditions in the final orders to be strictly followed by the Government and the
appropriate authorities till the Government brings out an appropriate legislation in this regard.
26. The Writ Petition is, thus, disposed of in these terms:
The beauty contest in any form in its true sense of the term can be neither obscene nor prohibited
under any law as long as it is intended for the welfare of women in all respects and it is intended
only as a form of art and entertainment and in a way a sport to select the winners on comparative
merit, but if it indecently represents any woman by depicting in any manner the figure of a woman,
form, body or any part thereof in such a way so as to have the effect of being indecent, or derogatory
to or denigrating women or is likely to deprave, corrupt or injure the public morality or morals
within the meaning of Section 2(c) of the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act,
1986, it is totally prohibited by virtue of Sections 3 and 4 of the said Act and also punishable under
Sections 6 and 7 of the Act both in regard to the offenders and also the abettors who may directly or
indirectly encourage, participate or aid in the holding of such contests. It offends Article 14, 21 and
51A of the Constitution of India and the international covenants accepted by the UNO in addition to
violation of human rights as is understood both under the Constitution and any law relating to
protection of human rights and punishable as per law in such cases. It also amounts to public
immorality and repugnant and to public opinion offending the dignity of woman and womanhood as
a whole and depraves the woman society in particular so as to exploit either for commercialisation
or for lust. It is also obscene in its true sense of the term as long as it does not conform to the
decencies and the moralities as is understood in the Indian society. But with all, it will be a pure
question of fact whether a beauty contest is obscene etc., depending upon the facts and
circumstances of each case which should be watched, prevented, checked, controlled and punished
and if possibly abolished by means of a legislation. The Courts cannot close its eyes as the result of
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indecency or morality emanating from beauty contests which are not confined to the womanhood or
the woman society spread to the entire society comprising both men and women who are the
integral part of the Indian culture, traditions and society and the Courts will interfere wherever such
instances are brought to the notice and take action in accordance with law. It need not be
emphasised that the powers of the Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India to deal with
such a matter is absolute and unfettered, however, not to exercise in a routine and casual manner.
27. A beauty contest in any form would be public entertainment within the meaning of he Rules
relating to places of public entertainment in the City of Hyderabad 1351 F rained under Section 21 of
the Hyderabad City Police Act 1348 F and requires Permission of the Commissioner of Police under
Rule 6 and also licence by virtue of Rule 106 and 108 of the said Rules and it is totally governed by
such rules. The police authorities thereunder have been empowered to deal with such contests in
accordance with the rules. It becomes objectionable performance within the meaning of Section 2 if
the Objectionable Performances Act, 1956 if it is grossly indecent, scurrilous or obscene or intended
for black mailing. The Government is empowered to prohibit the contest as objectionable
performance under Section 3 of the said Act and the District Collector (of the District),
Commissioner of Police (for the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad) may prohibit the
contest under Section 4 of the said Act and pass appropriate orders if it is likely to lead to breach of
peace and when it is objectionable under Section 2 of the said Act. It is also punishable under
Sections 6 and 7 of the said Act and all the offenders of such an offence including the abettors
directly and indirectly or open for prosecution and conviction for such an offence. The authorities
under the Act are entitled to exercise all or any of the powers under the provisions of the Act with a
right of appeal to the High Court under Section 11 of the Act as an alternative remedy to be
exhausted before approaching the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution.
28. The police authorities and any other authorities while dealing with such contest to grant or
reject the permission or licence for such contests shall be entitled to call for any material from the
applicants or suo motu collect all the materials under the provisions of the laws stated above and
shall be duty bound to consider all such materials including all circumstances enumerated in the
judgment supra and not merely where it causes law and order problem including implications of the
provisions of IRW Act, 1986, the Rules framed under Section 21 of the Hyderabad City Police Act
and the provisions of Objectionable Performances Act. They shall be bound to afford reasons both
for granting or rejecting such permission or licence and as far as possible, an opportunity may be
afforded to the affected persons both to produce materials and to be heard before passing an adverse
order. It shall also be open for such authorities to grant conditional permission of licence till a
suitable legislation is passed in the country or in the State and such permission or licence shall be
subject to the following conditions:
1. Wide publicity of the contest shall be given all over Andhra Pradesh in the main languages known
to the people of Andhra Pradesh through all media like press, Doordarshan and AIR well in advance.
2. The organisers or the organisation shall produce all the particulars of the contest before the
authorities including the copy of the registration certificate and the credentials showing the bona
fides in holding such a contest along with the application for permission or licence.
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3. The contest shall be held in a public, place to accommodate the members of the public from all
important sections of the society, but may regulate admission to maintain discipline and law and
order by having entry either by invitations or by any other reasonable method.
4. The contest shall not be repugnant to public morality and decency which the right thinking people
may not disapprove and shall not be derogatory of the dignity of the woman of Indian culture and
society.
5. The contest or the show shall be completed as far as possible before 10-00 p.m.
6. No alcohol shall be served or consumed by any participant, organisers or the Judges for the
contest either six hours before or during and sk hours after the show.
7. The contest or the show shall be watched by a panel to be constituted by the authorities,
comprising the following members:
1. The Chairman of the Bar Council of Andhra Pradesh
2. The President of the A.P. High Court Advocates' Association, Hyderabad.
3. The lady advocate of atleast 10 years standing to be nominated by the President of the Lady
Advocates' Association, High Court of A.P., Hyderabad
4. The Commissioner of Police or a nominee not below the rank of a DCP.
5. One legislator to be nominated by the Hon'ble Speaker.
6. A woman social worker to be nominated by the Andhra Mahila Sabha or nominee.
7. Two students, one girl student and one boy student, to be nominated by the Vice Chancellor of
Osmania University.
8. Two journalists, one man and one woman, to be chosen by the Press Club of Andhra Pradesh.
9. The Commissioner of Information and Public Relations or a nominee.
29. The panel shall be entitled to have access to all reasonable areas of the venue of the programme
and will be entitled to seek any information or material from any person, place or source connected
with the show.
30. The panel shall submit a report to the appropriate authorities granting the permission or the
licence within three days after the contest or the show giving their views and opinions and
recommending about the action to be taken, if necessary and upon that the authorities shall take
appropriate action against all or any of the persons in accordance with law.
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Chandra Rajakumari And Anr. vs Commissioner Of Police, ... on 27 October, 1997

31. Any person or organisation shall be entitled to be present or watch the proceedings, however,
with the permission of the concerned persons holding the contest or the show and subject to the
discipline of the organisers and control of the police and appropriate authorities. Any person or the
organisation shall be entitled to move any Court to take appropriate action against all or any of the
persons concerned with such shows directly or indirectly for appropriate remedy, according to law.
No beauty contest in any form shall be held till such permission is obtained from appropriate
authorities. It is hoped that the Government will bring out an appropriate legislation to deal with
such contests in specific terms having due regard to the seriousness involved in the issue of the
human rights of women in addition to legal and constitutional rights which should be preserved and
protected. Till such a legislation is brought out, the stipulations in this Judgment shall be operative
to be mandatorily followed by the Government and the appropriate authorities.

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