Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Lisa Blue swimsuits with Hindu gods' graffiti: HC issues notices to MEA, Australian Embassy

LUCKNOW: The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court has issued notices to Union external affairs ministry, Australian Embassy, Press Council of India and an editor of a national Hindi daily in connection with the photographs of models wearing swimsuits with graffiti of Hindu goddesses, published in a newspaper on May 6.

The photographs were of Lisa Burke's swimsuit collection Lisa Blue displayed during the Australian Fashion Week on Thursday.

A division bench comprising Justice Abdul Mateen and Justice Jayshree Tiwari took cognizance after a group of advocates drew attention of the court toward the photographs published in the newspaper. The court converted it into a public interest litigation when advocates pointed out that the photographs had hurt the sentiments of Hindus.

The bench in its notice to the Union ministry of external affairs has asked it to take up the issue with its counterpart in Australia. It has also asked the Australian Embassy to respond on the act which had hurt the sentiments of Hindus.

The court has asked the Press Council of India to explain the guidelines under which media could publish such pictures and take appropriate action if any rule had been violated. It has asked the editor of the Hindi national daily to explain the circumstances under which such a photograph was published. The four respondents have been given six weeks time to file their replies.

The court was also informed about a report, published in another newspaper on Tuesday, in which an agency marketing the swimsuits had apologised and assured that it would withdraw the entire collection from the market.

Hindu Mahasabha has welcomed the high court intervention in the case. The mahsabha had also held demonstrations to protest against models wearing swimsuits with graffiti of Hindu goddesses.

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