No relief from Indian high court for rapper Honey Singh’s offensive lyrics

In this photograph taken on September 1, 2012, Indian Punjabi singer Yo Yo Honey Singh performs during a concert with Mafia Mundeer on the outskirts of Amritsar. NARINDER NANU/AFP/Getty Images

IANS

Chandigarh — Indian High Courts refused to interfere in the case registered by Punjab Police against popular singer-rapper Honey Singh, for his obscene and disrespectful to women lyrics, the Punjab and Haryana High Courts heard Thursday.

Punjab Police booked Honey Singh for the language in his song ‘Main hoon balatkari’ (I am a rapist). A case was registered against him under provisions of Section 294 (singing, reciting or uttering any obscene song, ballad or words, in or near any public place) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The rapper sought the intervention of the high court in the state’s Nawanshahr town, 80 km from Chandigarh on May 16.

But the high court did not give him any relief and said that the singer was free to proceed with any remedy, if available. It also dismissed a PIL filed before it by a Punjab-based NGO regarding vulgarity in his songs.

Singh was present in court Thursday.

Counsel for Singh argued that his client had become the victim of his celebrity status.

He said Singh had not sung the controversial song – ‘Main hoon balatkari’ (I am a rapist) – on the basis of which the case was registered against him and it was some other Honey Singh who had sung it.

Meanwhile, dismissing the PIL, a bench of Chief Justice S.K. Kaul and Justice A.J. Masih said it was up to the Punjab government to set up a mechanism for screening vulgar and obscene songs and to decide as to what should be the “checks and balances” to be incorporated in such a mechanism.

In May, the high court came down heavily on the lewd lyrics of Singh’s songs and directed Punjab Police to book him for obscenity in his music.

A division bench of the high court had said that Singh’s “songs make us hang our heads in shame.” The bench said singers like him should be boycotted as his songs were disrespectful to women.

The Nawanshahr police had got a complaint from NGO HELP (Human Empowerment League Punjab) in January this year against the rapper and a few other singers for singing songs with vulgar and highly objectionable lyrics. However, police did not take any action then and registered a case only after the high court intervened.

IANS 2013-07-04 20:38:28

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