Jagjit Singh v. State of Himachal Pradesh
In the High Court of Himachal Pradesh
Before Justice Sandeep Sharma
Decided on November 21, 2018
Relevancy of the case: Bail application in a case involving sexual assault and dissemination of photographs of the act
Statutes and Provisions Involved
- The Information Technology Act, 2000 (Section 67)
- The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Section 438)
- The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Section 376, 354A, 354C, 354D, 506)
Relevant Facts of the Case
- The prosecutrix stated that the present petitioner, an acquaintance,e had sexually assaulted her against her will and had threatened to eliminate her upon disclosure to her parents or relatives.
- The petitioner along with his friends teased her and uploaded her pictures on Facebook and the Internet. On this pretext, he also pressurised her to have sexual relations with him.
- The prosecutrix further stated that the photographs were seen by her relatives and villagers and she had no option but to self-immolate.
Prominent Arguments by the Advocates
- The petitioner’s counsel argued that medical reports denied any evidence of a sexual assault. The RFSL report had no evidence that the photographs were uploaded using the petitioner’s mobile phone as alleged by the prosecutrix.
- The respondent’s counsel submitted that the RFSL report provided no evidence that the photographs were uploaded on Facebook and the Internet using the petitioner’s mobile phone, however taking into account the heinous nature of the offence committed, the petitioner should not be released on bail.
Opinion of the Bench
- The Court observed that the prosecutrix filed the complaint after a year, as the incident took place in December and the first information report was lodged in September 2018.
- The prosecutrix remained mum about the delay and had stated that the petitioner was an acquaintance and the two had been meeting each other.
- The first information report was lodged only when the photographs emerged on Facebook and the Internet. Further, the RFSL report does not provide any evidence that the photographs were uploaded from the petitioner’s mobile phone.
- The freedom of an individual cannot be curtailed especially when the guilt is yet to be proved, in accordance with the law, therefore, the petitioner is entitled to bail.
- Bail granted, subject to certain conditions.
This case summary has been prepared by Tuba Aftab, an undergraduate student at IIMT & School of Law, GGSIPU, during her internship with The Cyber Blog India in May/June 2021.