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Delhi High Court dismisses PIL against Dalai Lama for alleged molestation of minor child


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Delhi High Court: In a Public Interest Litigation (‘PIL’) filed to seek issuance of directions to respondents 1, 2, and 3 to take suo moto cognizance of the alleged molestation under Sections and of the (‘POCSO Act’) committed by Dalai Lama (respondent 4), a Division Bench of Manmohan, ACJ. and Tushar Rao Gedela, J. dismissed the PIL and held that the present matter should not be entertained as public interest litigation.

Through this petition, the petitioner also sought the issuance of directions to the Ministry of Women and Child Development (respondent 1) to take appropriate actions against the owners of news portals, website owners, and owners of social media portals who leaked the identity and image of the child who was allegedly molested.

The Court stated that it had seen the video and found that the incident happened in full public glare. The Court also found that it was the minor who had expressed his desire and intention to meet and hug Dalai Lama.

The Court stated that the incident was more than a year old and had also been seen in the context of Tibetan culture wherein it is portrayed that sticking one’s tongue out is a form of greeting.

The Court stated that after seeing the overall perspective of the video, it could be said that Dalai Lama was trying to be playful with the child, and if the parents of the minor child had been offended, they would have taken action as per the law.

The Court found it pertinent to mention that the case of the petitioners was not that the parents of the minor child were socially and economically backward or not in a position to assert their rights.

Further, the Court took judicial notice of the fact that Dalai Lama had already expressed his apology to those who may have been offended by his action.

The Court stated that the fact that Dalai Lama was the head of a religious sect which was not in the best of terms with some Nation-States also had to be kept in mind while dealing with such an issue.

Thus, the Court stated that the present matter should not be entertained as a PIL and dismissed the same.

[Confederation of NGOs v. Union of India, W.P.(CRL) 2038 of 2024, Decided on 09-07-2024]

Advocates who appeared in this case:

For Petitioners — Advocate Namrata Mishra, Advocate Noopur Singhal

For Respondents — ASG Chetan Sharma, CGSC Apoorv Kurup, Advocate Amit Gupta, Advocate Gauri Goburdhun, Advocate Shubham Sharma, Advocate Vikramaditya Singh

Buy Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012

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