The quashing of the proceedings against actor Kushboo by the Supreme Court is disappointing. When 23 criminal cases were filed against her in various courts and while 23 judicial magistrates and the Madras High Court did not did not give her relief on her claim that what she said was within the ambit of freedom of expression guaranteed to her by the Constitution, the Supreme Court now seems to say that all those judicial officers erred. The moot point is: When the Supreme Court errs, which is the next higher authority to go to? According to our tradition, culture and practice, marriage is a bond between a man and a woman that they would be faithful to each other. It is a commitment. To treat such a sacred alliance as a sexual affair cannot be accepted.

Naveen Luther,

Hyderabad

A temple was built for the actor years ago. The same person was harassed with criminal cases in the name of morality once she was off the silver screen and expressed her views. How quickly a deity can turn into a devil!

Jeny Rapheal,

Thrissur

Defamation is a much abused tool in India. Hats off to Ms Kushboo for standing up to her convictions. She certainly has struck at the roots of hypocrisy.

Motupalli S. Prasad,

Chennai

It looks like the interpretation of the learned judges has been wrongly understood by many. Everyone singularly fails to see the difference between civil and criminal laws and what the law sees as moral or legal. The judges have merely interpreted the law as it stands today and thrown out the cases against Ms Kushboo. However, in the flurry of the raging debate, mainly centring around the socio-economic fallouts, one fundamental issue has been missed — health. Live-in relationships can only aggravate sexually-transmitted diseases as partners hop and leave pregnant women infected with harmful conditions. Even assuming that marriage as an institution can be overridden, should not the authorities insist on the live-in partners being cleared clinically, so that they will not leave behind a trail of diseases. Or else, we will have a clear case of private profligacy turning into a national epidemic. Already the festering history of prostitution has caused this situation, to an extent.

Raju Umamaheswar,

Coimbatore

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