Can't Allow Continuous Blackmailing Of Victim: Sc Asks Accused In Jindal Gang Rape To Give iCloud Password To Victim
The Supreme Court Bench of Justice SA Bobde and Justice LN Rao on Wednesday asked the OP Jindal Global University gang rape accused to share their iCloud account password with the victim.
“We are not concerned about the guilty. We are concerned about the present situation. There are pictures of the girl with one of you. It is difficult for us to accept and tolerate continuous blackmail,” Justice Bobde to the counsel appearing for accused Hardik Sikri, Karan Chhabra and Vikas Garg.
“You must give up access to those photographs. If you have deleted, make sure that they are not released. If not, you have to give the password to the girl,” the bench told them.
Senior advocates Shanti Bhushan and Mukul Rohatgi, representing the accused, assured the court saying “If any password is available, it will be shared.”
Bhushan said his client is ready to furnish an undertaking in this regard.
The girl has approached the apex court challenging the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s order suspending their sentence awarded to them by the trial court.
She also expressed her apprehension that her nude pictures are with the accused and further circulation will damage her. She alleged that the accused have been blackmailing her.
Bhushan argued that it was the girl only who sent the photos to the accused.
The victim’s counsel, senior advocate Colin Gonzalvis, argued that despite questioning from the police and university authority, the password was not shared with the victim.
He also sought the court to peruse the WhatsApp chats to understand gut-wrenching threat the girl was put into by the accused.
Earlier, this court had stayed the bail granted to three accused, who were fellow students of the university, by the high court in the case.
In September last year, the high court suspended their conviction on the ground that the woman was “promiscuous” and had “casual sexual escapades”.
The girl had lodged a complaint to the university administration on April 11, 2015, alleging that the trio, final year law students of the university, have been blackmailing and raping her since August 2013.
She also alleged that the accused were having her objectionable photos and they used to threaten her for making the photos viral.
The victim alleged that she was being blackmailed and forced to make physical relations with them.
In March last year, a trial court in Sonipat had held three guilty for the offence and awarded a 20-year sentence to Hardik and Karan each, and a seven-year jail term to Vikas, for gang rape and blackmailing her.
However, the high court had suspended their sentence and granted them bail in September.
Being aggrieved of the order, the girl has approached the top court.