Kissing Video Row: Delhi HC Junks Plea Against Dalai Lama

Kissing Video Row

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) concerning a viral video clip alleging misconduct by the Dalai Lama towards a boy.

The court deemed the incident as non-premeditated, stating that the Dalai Lama was being playful and had already apologized for any unintended offense caused.

In the video, the Dalai Lama was shown kissing the boy on the lips and suggesting the child ‘suck his tongue’, triggering a social media controversy. The petitioner, ‘Confederation of NGOs’, sought court directions to invoke the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and to retract the child’s identity from news portals.

Acting Chief Justice Manmohan’s bench ruled that the PIL lacked grounds for public interest, noting that the incident occurred publicly and involved the minor expressing his own desire to meet and hug the Dalai Lama. The court viewed the gesture as playful and contextualized it within Tibetan culture. It also considered the Dalai Lama’s position as a religious leader with international sensitivities.

The bench, which included Justice Tushar Rao Gedela, highlighted that the Dalai Lama had already apologized to anyone offended. It affirmed that individuals aggrieved by the incident could pursue appropriate legal actions if necessary.

The petitioner’s counsel emphasized that the intention was not to scrutinize the Dalai Lama but to prompt authorities to issue a statement acknowledging the incident. The counsel also urged for audits of religious places to prevent such incidents from becoming normalized, arguing against dismissing the matter as lacking public interest.

The court, however, concluded that the issue did not warrant continued litigation in the public interest and dismissed the PIL accordingly.

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About the Author: Meera Verma