Abhishek Aiyappa v. State of Karnataka
In the High Court of Karnataka
Before Justice Rathnakala
Decided on August 16, 2017
Relevancy of the case: Anticipatory bail application in a case of blackmailing and uploading of inappropriate photos and videos on social media.
Statutes and Provisions Involved
- The Information Technology Act, 2000 (Section 66E)
- The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Section 354)
- The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Section 438)
Relevant Facts of the Case
- The petitioner apprehends arrest by the police in pursuance of crime number 254/2017 for the offences under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and Section 66E of the Information Technology Act, 2000.
- The complainant was engaged with the petitioner on October 23, 2016. Subsequently, the petitioner showed his inappropriate photos and videos to her. He apologised for it after the complainant informed her parents about it. Later, he started harassing the complainant and assaulted her in her office. He managed to click inappropriate photos and videos of the complainant after procuring her to his house. Thereafter, he went to Pune for further studies.
- He started threatening to post inappropriate photos and videos on social media. On June 16, 2017, a fake Facebook account was created in her name, and some private photos were uploaded. These photos were also uploaded on other social networking sites such as WhatsApp and Instagram.
Prominent Arguments by the Advocates
- The petitioner’s counsel submitted that after complaining, the complainant and the petitioner discussed the differences, and deleted the photos uploaded by them. The petitioner is willing to co-operate with the Investigating Officer and has undertaken that he will never harm her or damage her dignity.
- The respondent’s counsel submitted that the complainant had lodged a complaint with Facebook. It was found that the Facebook account was a fake one, and it has deleted all the pictures uploaded therein. Investigation to trace the persons who created the account is in progress. Hence, custodial interrogation of the accused is necessary to recover the instruments used for the commission of the offence.
Opinion of the Bench
- Presently, as there is no private photo of the complainant on any social media platform, and that the petitioner is studying MBA in Pune, there is no impediment in granting anticipatory bail to the petitioner.
- Petition allowed.
- Anticipatory bail granted subject to certain conditions.
This case summary has been prepared by Shrawani Mohani, an undergraduate student at ILS Law College, Pune, during her internship with The Cyber Blog India in January/February 2021.