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[Bail Condition] Heavens Won't Fall Down If Rape Accused Is Stopped From Using Social Media To Protect Victim's Privacy: Kerala HC [Read Order]

Sparsh Upadhyay
19 Sep 2020 10:45 AM GMT
[Bail Condition] Heavens Wont Fall Down If Rape Accused Is Stopped From Using Social Media To Protect Victims Privacy: Kerala HC [Read Order]
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While granting bail to a Rape accused, the Kerala High Court on Thursday (17th September) remarked that "heavens will not fall down if a condition is imposed in a bail order restraining the accused in a rape case in using social media, especially when it is to protect the victim girl's privacy."A Single Bench of Justice P. V. Kunhikrishnan was hearing the bail application of one...

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While granting bail to a Rape accused, the Kerala High Court on Thursday (17th September) remarked that "heavens will not fall down if a condition is imposed in a bail order restraining the accused in a rape case in using social media, especially when it is to protect the victim girl's privacy."

A Single Bench of Justice P. V. Kunhikrishnan was hearing the bail application of one Muhammed Shifas/Petitioner who is an accused in Crime No.1017/2020 of Njarackal Police Station.

The offences alleged against the petitioner are under Sections 370, 376, 376(2) (n), 509, 506 IPC and Section 6 r/w Section 5, 5(l), 13, 14 and 15 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012 (POCSO Act, 2012) and also under Section 66 (E) of the Information Technology Act.

Facts of the case in brief

The prosecution's case was that the petitioner and the victim girl were in love. On 22.12.2018, the accused took her to a resort at Cherai beach under the pretext of giving her a birthday gift and committed forcible rape.

It is also alleged that the petitioner captured nude photos of the victim. It is also alleged that he threatened her that if the incident is disclosed to anybody, he will circulate her nude pictures on social media.

It has been alleged that the petitioner committed rape on the victim girl about six occasions after that incident by showing the nude photos.

It is also alleged that on 31.07.2020, the petitioner created a fake Facebook account by the name 'Rilsila Richus' and posted the pictures of the victim and demanded Rs.1 lakh from the victim to delete the above-said photos.

Court's Analysis

The Court observed that it was an admitted fact that the petitioner is now aged 23 years and the victim girl is now aged 19 years. It is also an accepted fact that the petitioner and the victim girl were in love.

Further, the Court said the Victim admitted her love affair with the petitioner. Her main grievance is that the petitioner posted her photographs on FaceBook.

In such circumstances, the Court remarked,

"Considering the special facts and circumstances of the case, if bail is granted, why not there be a condition in the bail order directing the petitioner not to use social media like FaceBook, Whatsapp, Twitter, Instagram etc., till the case is finally concluded?" (emphasis supplied)

In the Court's opinion, in appropriate cases, in the interest of justice, the Court can impose any such conditions if it considers necessary in the facts and circumstances of the case.

Further, the Court observed that in this case, the main grievance of the victim is that the petitioner is circulating photographs of the victim girl in social media.

It is also the case of the victim that the petitioner is threatening the victim to the effect that he will publish the photographs of the victim girl. The allegation is that the petitioner is even demanding money.

In this context, the Court said,

"In such circumstances, there is nothing wrong in imposing a condition that the accused shall not use social media like FaceBook, Whatsapp, Twitter, Instagram etc., until the investigation is completed. I also make it clear that if any final report is filed against the petitioner before the court concerned after investigation and the court concerned took cognizance of the same, the above condition will continue til the trial of the above case is over." (emphasis supplied)

The Court further remarked,

"With such a condition, this bail application can be allowed. Heavens will not fall down if a condition is imposed in a bail order restraining the accused in a rape case in using social media, especially when it is to protect the victim girl's privacy." (emphasis supplied)

Also, the Court said that the investigating officer will inform the victim about this condition and if any complaint in this regard is received from the victim, the investigating officer will act in accordance with law.

The Court also made it clear that while granting bail in this case, the Court considered the fact that the petitioner is only aged 23 years, and he is in detention.

Lastly, the Petitioner was directed to be released on bail on executing a bond for Rs.50,000/- (Rupees Fifty Thousand only) with two solvent sureties each for the like sum to the satisfaction of the jurisdictional Court.

Case Details:

Case Title: Muhammed Shifas v. State Kerala

Case No.: Bail Appl..No.5831 OF 2020

Quorum: Justice P. V. Kunhikrishnan

Click Here To Download Order

[Read Order]



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