The Himachal Pradesh High Court on Tuesday (27th October) denied the benefit of Anticipatory Bail to a Husband accused of posting and uploading nude photographs of his wife in the public domain.
Calling it "not only serious but a heinous crime", the Bench of Justice Vivek Singh Thakur observed that,
"Posting and uploading nude photographs of the spouse, particularly of wife, in public domain amounts to betray the mutual trust and confidence which marital relations imply."
The Court was hearing four applications filed under Section 438 Cr.P.C and they were disposed of by a common order.
Petitioner Abhishek Mangla (husband of complainant wife), along with Pat Ram Mangla (father of Husband), Shirli Mangla (Mother of husband) and Meenal Mangla (sister of husband) had preferred 4 pre-arrest bail applications.
The Facts of the case
On the basis of a complaint submitted by the victim, FIR No. 41/2020 dated 5.10.2020 was registered against the petitioners under Sections 498A, 504, 34 IPC and Sections 66(E) and 67 of the IT Act in Women Police Station, Mandi, District Mandi.
As per the complainant, after one month of solemnization of marriage with Abhishek Mangla, the petitioners had started harassing her (Victim) on one or other pretext particularly for insufficient dowry.
The Husband used to record the calls of the complainant/victim and used to beat her. Being tired of atrocities of her in-laws, she went to her parental house, after about 1½ months, her husband came there and apologized for his conduct and therefore she agreed to accompany him with the consent of her far believing that he will not beat her.
But immediately after reaching home, he again threatened her to teach a lesson to her father and thereafter again had started harassing and beating her and abusing her sister and parents on call.
Once, during the night, Abhishek Mangla (Husband) snapped her nude photographs on his mobile and on refusal to allow that, he had expressed his anger whereupon the victim had acceded to his request and out of fear, she had not raised any voice against him.
Thereafter, he uploaded her nude photographs on the internet for some time and had removed after some time.
The husband (Abhishek Mangla) of the victim also uploaded nude photographs of the victim on Facebook through fake Facebook ID created by him in the name of the victim and had also uploaded nude photographs of the victim as a profile picture of that Facebook ID and after taking screenshots thereof, he sent photographs to the victim and had also uploaded videos and photographs wherein the victim was nude.
Court's views and order
The Court observed that the relationship of husband and wife is a privileged relation. Institution of marriage inspires trust and confidence which leads to complete surrender of spouses to each other. This relation of mutual trust, faith and confidence creates a sense of security and sometimes even more than parents and children.
The Court further observed,
"It is stripping off a woman in public by the husband himself who is not only supposed but duly bound to protect her, it is not only serious but a heinous crime. Its impact on the soul, mind and health of the victim is beyond imagination. It causes suffering to her beyond comprehension, attracting the provision of Section 498-A IPC. An act amounting to stripping off a woman in public, in my considered view, dis-entitles a person from anticipatory bail."
Therefore, considering the given facts and circumstances of the case, nature and gravity of the accusations and impact thereof on the soul, mind and body of a woman, affecting her mental and physical health beyond comprehension, the Court did not find it fit to enlarge petitioner Abhishek Mangla on bail, exercising the power under Section 438 Cr.P.C.
Hence, bail petition [Cr.M.P(M) No. 1808 of 2020] preferred by him was dismissed.
So far as the petitioners Pat Ram Mangla, Shirli Mangla and Meenal Mangla (Cr.M.P(M) Nos. 1809, 1810 and 1811 of 2020) were concerned, considering their roles as indicated in the status report and as alleged in the complaint, they were enlarged on bail subject to furnishing fresh bail bonds in the sum of `50,000/- each with one local surety each, as undertaken, in the like amount to the the satisfaction of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mandi.
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