Thangapandiyan v. State

The Cyber Blog IndiaCase Summary

Bail application in a rape case involving allegations of tampering with electronic gadgets

Thangapandiyan v. State
In the High Court of Madras
Crl. O.P. (MD) 14431/2022
Before Justice B. Pugalendhi
Decided on August 24, 2022

Relevancy of the Case: Bail application in a rape case involving allegations of tampering with electronic gadgets

Statutes and Provisions Involved

  • The Information Technology Act, 2000 (Section 66B)
  • The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Section 201, 294(b), 354A, 354B, 354C, 354D, 376)

Relevant Facts of the Case

  • The petitioner’s son made acquaintance with a girl through social media. He subsequently professed his love for her.
  • He arranged a meeting with the girl and took her to a poultry farm in his car. He raped the victim inside the vehicle and videotaped the incident.
  • The victim did not have knowledge about the videotaping. He used this video to blackmail her to obey his demands.
  • The petitioner concealed his son’s laptop and mobile phone. He also tampered with electronic gadgets to safeguard him.
  • The police added the petitioner’s name as an accused. The petitioner has applied for bail in the present petition.

Prominent Arguments by the Advocates

  • The petitioner’s counsel submitted that he is a senior citizen with a 50% physical disability due to knee cap displacement and diabetes. He has already spent 25 months in jail. The counsel further argued that even if the allegations are true, they only warrant action under Section 201, which prescribes a maximum punishment of three years.
  • The respondent’s counsel highlighted the rejection of five bail applications due to the gravity of the crime. The prime accused exploited more than 120 women. His devices contained more than 1900 full and half nude photos and 400 videos of women.

Opinion of the Bench

  • The court agreed with the petitioner’s counsel’s submission concerning Section 201.
  • The court also considered the time already served in the custody by the petitioner, his age, and his ailments.

Final Decision

  • The court accepted the petitioner’s bail application, subject to his signing an affidavit of cooperation in the trial and non-tampering with evidence.

Upama Nandy, an undergraduate student at Symbiosis Law School, Pune, prepared this case summary during her internship with The Cyber Blog India in January/February 2023.