NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed 22 criminal cases against actress Khushboo for her remarks on pre-marital sex, which had drawn angry protests in the conservative country.
Khushboo, a well-known actress in south India, has said her remarks in a 2005 magazine interview on the importance of women taking adequate precautions if they indulged in pre-marital sex in order to prevent AIDS, had been taken out of context.
Following the interview, there were demonstrations and protests against what was perceived as an endorsement of pre-marital sex in a country where marriages arranged by parents are still largely the norm.
The Supreme Court said her comments were her personal view and that that she was entitled to express them.
“The comments are not in variance to individual freedom,” the judges said in their judgement on Wednesday.
The outspoken actress said she felt vindicated.
“It’s great. I know what I have spoken is absolutely right,” Khushboo told CNN-IBN news channel.
More than half of India’s population is below the age of 25 years and the country’s cities are rapidly modernising, but a traditional ethos still prevails, and attitudes toward marriage, pre-marital sex and live-in relationships are conservative.
Reporting by R. Venkatraman; Editing by Rina Chandran