The saucy, oversexed ' Savita Bhabhi' is no longer part of the online lives of millions of her Indian fans.
The Union ministry of information technology banned the pornographic comic-strip website on June 3 without an official announcement or notification.
A website broke the news on Saturday, claiming to have seen the official circular ordering the ban on the website by Indian internet service providers.
"We are talking to our lawyers and trying to figure out our options," savitabhabhi.com administrator Deshmukh told xbiznewswire.com. "The initial reaction is that since the site does not pose any threat to India's national security and is not illegal, it must be against international law to block it. However, we are still working on the legal angle."
Under the recently amended IT Act, the government can ban websites that do not subscribe to norms of public decency and morality on the web.
A senior IT ministry official told DNA, "The site was banned in the first week of June under the act. This is not censorship."
The popularity of the website (the online comic strip, which features nudity and hard-core sex, reportedly gets 60 million unique visitors a month) is often cited as an example of how pornography has a mainstream market.
"The ban can't stop content from sprouting in other places. How many sites will they block?" Nikhil, a regular visitor to the site who did not want to give his full name, said.
Such was the impact that Savita Bhabhi had on netizens that in less than a year, major marketing initiatives were based on her. For example, a consumer goods major fashioned a similar character to hardsell its products in villages.