Law & Judiciary

    Delhi HC dismisses PIL against Dalai Lama on child kiss controversy

    The Hawk
    July9/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    The plea argued the act had a grave impact on the child's well-being. The court noted the incident occurred over a year ago, and the Dalai Lama has since apologized.

    Dalai Lama

    New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking action against Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people under the POCSO Act on kissing a child on the lips issue.
    The plea stated that the startling video went viral across media channels on various social media platforms in April 2023 without hiding the identity of a child and discussions and debates were organized by many news channels which had a grave impact on the well-being of the child.
    "This unfathomable sin transpired inside a temple. The poor little child simply asked if he could hug Dalai Lama," the plea said.
    The bench of Justice Manmohan and Justice Tushar Rao Gedela said the incident took place one and a half years ago and it happened in full public glare. Dalai Lama has apologised for it.
    The plea moved by a confederation of NGOs and Jeroninio Almeida stated that the present petition has been filed with the intent to be a wake-up call on the deafening silence of concerned authorities and other stakeholders including media on the crime committed against gullible little children by the revered godmen, spiritual sacrosanct, religious heads, priests, popes, maulvis, sadguru, spiritual leaders, gurus or monks and the likes and in the instant petition global spiritual icon, the Dalai Lama, to take appropriate action and also to frame appropriate guidelines if required to ensure the protection and safety of children during various gathering like Spiritual or religious gathering.

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    "How the perpetrator hugged the child and then kissed his lips and then embraced him repeatedly before asking him to suck his tongue, is improper, inadequate, inappropriate, uncalled for and classified as an offence under the provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO Act)," the plea read.
    The plea further stated that after this incident came into the public domain, the members of the Tibetan community worldwide came forward and made an insidious remark to divert and distract the very course of contention by justifying that 'sticking one's tongue out' is being used as a form of greeting in ancient Tibetan culture.
    It also stated that it is pertinent to highlight that despite comprehensive legislation to protect children from sexual offences in place, adult citizens have proved to be irresponsible towards their duty of utmost care and protection towards the child.
    "It is a sad reflection on the attitude of indifference of society towards the violation of human dignity of the victims of sexual abuse, especially when victims are children," the plea stated.
    Dalai Lama on April 10, 2023, issued a public apology after a video clip featuring him and a child triggered outrage and criticism over his "inappropriate" behaviour.