Aarti Tiwari v. State of Chattisgarh and Anr.
In the High Court of Chhattisgarh
Cr. M.P 672/2014
Before Justice P. Sam Koshy
Decided on August 19, 2014
Relevancy of the case: Quashing of FIR in a case involving clicking of pictures of patients’ private parts at a doctor’s clinic
Statutes & Provisions Involved
- The Information Technology Act, 2000 (Section 66E, 67, 72)
- The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Section 509)
- Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986 (Section 4, 6)
- The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Section 482)
Relevant Facts of the Case
- The petitioner was a qualified medical doctor who had put up a clinic. The petitioner along with her husband had captured sexually explicit photos and videos of the lady patients coming to consult the petitioner.
- The sexually explicit videos and photos thus captured by the petitioner’s husband had the private parts of the lady patients. An FIR was lodged against the petitioner and petitioner’s husband under sections 66E, 67, and 72 of the Information Technology Act, 2000, Section 509 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 along with Sections 4 and 6 of the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986.
- The petitioner has filed a petition before the High Court to quash the FIR registered at P.S Takhatpur, District Bilaspur in the Crime number 19/2013.
Prominent Arguments by the Advocates
- It was contended that the petitioner has been falsely implicated in the FIR under the abovementioned sections. It is evident after reading the case diary and the FIR that the petitioner had no direct or indirect role in the commission of the offence. The petitioner did not take any obscene photos or videos of the ladies’ private areas who had visited the clinic. The petitioner did not provide any assistance or support to the accused who took obscene pictures and videos of women. The photos and videos were not found on the mobile phone of the petitioner. It was further submitted that the FIR shall be quashed and the petitioner should not be forced to face the trial as there is no evidence to prove that the petitioner is guilty.
- Prima facie, it is clear that the petitioner was involved with her husband in capturing obscene photos and videos of ladies. The involvement of the petitioner in the aforesaid crime is evident in the fact the petitioner’s husband who has no medical qualification has taken the photos and videos. No one without the permission of the petitioner can enter inside the chamber of the petitioner while she examined the patients. It is evident that the petitioner had an involvement in the case. On 30-12-2013, the charge sheet was filed and since then, the petitioner was absconding. It was further submitted that the petitioner should be taken in custody for enquiry. The counsel for the respondent referred to the judgement of Shoraj Ahlawat v. State of U.P. to prove the point that the Supreme Court held that the Magistrate only needs to see whether there is ground to presume that the accused had committed the offence as per the material which is available on record and in a case where the investigation is not over, the court need not go deep into the case. In the case of Amit Kapoor v. Ramesh Chander (2012) 9 SCC 460, the court held that in nominal stages of the investigation, the final test of proving guilty need not be applied and if the court has a strong suspicion that the accused has committed the crime, then he/she will be put to trial.
Opinion of the Bench
- The FIR had materials to show that the petitioner is guilty of the alleged offence. The counsel for the petitioner has not made out any strong case to invoke the court’s jurisdiction as per Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
- The petition is dismissed due to lack of merit.
This case summary has been prepared by Afsana Khan, an undergraduate student at Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad, during her internship with The Cyber Blog India in June/July 2020.