Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Wednesday stayed the criminal proceedings initiated by actor Kushboo against Maxim magazine.

The Central Crime Branch registered a case on the basis of a complaint from Ms. Kushboo, who alleged that the magazine had morphed her photograph and published obscene picture/comment in its first issue in January 2006.

Cases were registered under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code, Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act 1986 and the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of Women Act. The police filed a charge sheet. In his present petition, Fazzal Hussain Khan, regional circulation manager (south) of the magazine, sought to quash the proceedings on the ground that he was only a paid employee of the journal and that his role was an act of obedience.

Justice K.N. Basha, before whom the matter came up for hearing, stayed the criminal proceedings pending before the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court at Egmore.

Personal appearance dispensed with

He also dispensed with Mr. Khan’s personal appearance in court.

Besides him, four others — Sunil Mehra (editor), Anjan Das (art director), Xavier Collaco (printer and publisher) and Deepak Bhatt (deputy general manager, circulation) — had been arraigned as accused.