E. Betsy v. State

The Cyber Blog IndiaCase Summary

Quashing of proceedings in a case involving the recording and publication of obscene photos/videos by the husband

E. Betsy v. State
In the High Court of Madras
Crl. O.P. 34594/2019
Before Justice R.N. Manjula
Decided on January 23, 2023

Relevancy of the Case: Quashing of proceedings in a case involving the recording and publication of obscene photos/videos by the husband

Statutes and Provisions Involved

  • The Information Technology Act, 2000 (Section 66)
  • The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Sections 498A, 323, 506(i))

Relevant Facts of the Case

  • The petitioner is the second accused. The first accused is the son of the petitioner/second accused. The defacto complainant’s daughter married the petitioner’s son on July 10, 2016.
  • The complainant and her daughter lived in the United Kingdom at the time of the marriage. The complainant has accused the petitioner’s second of misconduct and recording the incident when she visited the petitioner’s house in Chennai. The petitioner had assured the complainant’s daughter that the marriage registration was sufficient.
  • The complainant has alleged that the first accused has mistreated other girls before. After their marriage, he brought another girl home and misbehaved with his wife, i.e., the complainant’s daughter.
  • In September 2017, the complainant went to the UK to check the first accused’s phone, fearing he might misuse her daughter’s video. However, she discovered he had disposed of the phone. The complainant’s daughter faced emotional harassment from the petitioner and her son.
  • The parties approached the Family Court for divorce by mutual consent. Accordingly, the court had passed a divorce decree.

Prominent Arguments by the Advocates

  • The petitioner’s counsel argues that the complaint is time-barred, as the alleged incident occurred in 2016. She claims that the first accused was the one harassed by the complainant’s daughter and that the allegations are false. Her involvement in the alleged incidents is unlikely due to the physical distance between them. The complaint against the petitioner and the first accused has been closed previously.
  • The respondent’s counsel argued that a detailed investigation is necessary to uncover the truth.
  • The complainant’s counsel stated that the first accused continues to harass her daughter and has uploaded obscene pictures of her and her daughter. The complainant’s daughter obtained a consent divorce from the first accused. However, she filed this complaint for causing mental agony.

Opinion of the Bench

  • As the first accused’s mother, the petitioner had a limited role in the alleged incidents. After the marriage, the couple lived in the United Kingdom. She had no direct involvement due to the physical distance between her and the couple.

Final Decision

  • The court allowed the petition and quashed the proceedings concerning the petitioner.

Aditi Sharma, an undergraduate student at NMIMS School of Law, Indore, prepared this case summary during her internship with The Cyber Blog India in May/June 2023.