Search

REVENGE PORN: PROSECUTION BENEATH THE CONTEMPORARY INDIAN LEGAL SYSTEM

AUTHOR- Varun Vikas Srivastav, Amity University, Noida.


“Revenge changes a slight right toward a vast wrong”

Introduction

In March of 2018, in the case of State of West Bengal v Animesh Boxi,[1] which is broadly recognized as the first-ever,[2] the Sessions court in Tamluk, West Bengal, convicted a man to five years confinement adjacent (India Today, 2018) with a penalty of Rs. 9,000, for uploading private and offensive photographs of a girl on the internet without her approval. The arrested was condemned under Sections 66E, 66C, 67, and 67A of the Information Technology Act adjacent with Sections 354, 354A, 354C, and 509 of the Indian Penal Code. What was impressive regarding the decision was that along with the aforementioned penalty and arrest, the bench even ordered the state government to handle the sufferer as a rape survivor (Yashee, 2018) and to accommodate her relevant consideration.

The involved was in an informal relationship with the victim before the commitment of the crime and had taken the assumed intimate photographs from the victim under the commitment of matrimony. Following the victim breaking off the bond, the arrested uploaded the photographs and videos onto pornographic websites (The Hindustan Times, 2018) with both her and her father’s titles. Incidents such as this have grown prevalent in both India and throughout the world in what has been categorized as ‘Revenge Porn’ events. Before examining the judicial system in a position to undertake the stated matter, it is appropriate to explain what develops as revenge porn. Therefore, this blog commences by explaining the term, accompanied by an interpretation of the contemporary legal system in a position to discuss the stated matter and eventually achieves with a significant commentary on the same to represent the internal inconsistency in the legal regularity while approached such situations of revenge porn.

Explaining Revenge Porn

Women in India unceasingly experience from remaining constrained to crime and sexual brutality in their everyday lives. Digitization in India has made an expansion in technological power and passage to technology within the country driving to a succeeding expansion (Livemint , 2019) in the occurrences of harassment and violations in the practical world. Such offenses termed as cyber-crime ought to emerge as a major difficulty that the law implementation bureaus in the nation and throughout the world are striving to direct and the inadequacy of laws to appropriately discuss the same constitute the method even harder.

Revenge porn is one before-mentioned cyber-crime that has enriched too general in our community. While described by Merriam-Webster reference (Merriam Webster, 2014), revenge porn is the “sexually express pictures of a person posted online without that person’s permission mainly as a sort of retaliation or harassment.” The difficulty with revenge porn is that once it is posted online, it can be obtained not merely in India but in distinct portions of the world. Additionally, even if the content is extracted from one section, its extent cannot be restrained as any person who has downloaded the content can republish it away, therefore preserving the occurrence of the content of the internet. This perspective has also been appropriately recognized by the judiciary in the decision of the State of West Bengal v animeshboxi(Global Freedom of expression, 2018), as developing an occurrence of virtual rape enduring completely the victim’s life[3].

Another difficulty that is confronted by law implementation is that such offenses normally go unreported due to social problems and shame. According to Adv. Bivas Chatterjee, (Brinda, 2018) who was the Public Prosecutor in the West Bengal case, “98 % of cyber-crime victims do not even charge as the victims, who are ordinary women, fear they will get recognized and marked in community. Therefore, accompanying the statutory and logistical concerns, prosecution for the offense is additionally influenced by the absence of reporting of such events.

Legal Remedies

The current wave in occurrences of revenge porn has commenced to various countries (The center for Internet & Society , 2020) throughout the world proclaiming laws to approach the corresponding. None the less, at present, in India, there endures no particular law that deals with revenge porn. Notwithstanding, numerous sections of the Indian Penal code, 1860 (IPC) and the Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT act) are applied to condemn the offenders which do not completely attack the distinctions of revenge porn.

The act of revenge porn for the IPC brings a condemnation under Section 292, 354C, 499, and 509. The applicable terms and what they involve is contained beneath:

1. 292[4]: Sharing or circulation of offensive material.

2. 354C[5]: Catching or distribution of images of a woman involved in a private appearance without her permission

3. 499[6]: Act is made by a person aiming to injure or having a purpose to assume the equivalent would injure an individual’s character or reputation.

4. 509[7]: Act aimed to outrage the delicacy of a woman.

Concerning the IT act, revenge porn brings undertaking under Sections 66E, 67, 67A, and 72 of the Act. The appropriate prerequisites and what they inscribe are inserted below:

1. S.66E[8]: Invasion of privacy; Publishing or sending obscene element in electronic form

2. S.67[9]: Publishing or transmitting of material comprising the sexually explicit act, etc. In a photoelectric manner

3. S.67A: Publishing electronic stuff holding the sexually explicit act

4. S.72[10]: Violation of confidentiality and secrecy

Additionally, separate laws also possess their purpose in such circumstances such as Section 4 and 6 of Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986, (IRWA) which restricts publishing of pictures which comprise an improper image of women. Moreover, further prerequisites of numerous enactments may also be accepted depending on the events and incidents of the presented crises.

'Sometimes you have to pick the gun up to put the Gun down’ By Malcom X

Problems With Status Quo

Even though none of the laws appropriately discuss revenge porn, the current laws further undergo several distinct significant disadvantages. One main problem that may be observed from the recently executed section 354C of the IPC is that it is gendered in its reinforcement and confines its range to a male offender and female victim. A comparable disadvantage is also described by Section 509 of the IPC and Section 4 and 6 of the IRWA.

While the IT Act, seems not to undergo from the corresponding impression of being gendered, it allows from an extremely graver problem that extends proof to essential inconsistency prevailing in the contemporary legal system in discussed revenge porn. The prerequisites of 67A of the IT, which criminalizes people who distribute or broadcast electronic information of any matter which comprises of the sexually explicit act, holding the most high-grade examples of the equivalent.

As can be presumed prima facie from an interpretation of the section, while the section can be applied to execute offenders,[11] it can drive to the feasible pursuance of the victim as well who may have intentionally taken the stated pictures or videos and transferred the related to their partners[12]. A related concern is also examined in the case of Section 67 of the corresponding act which dispenses with the crime of publishing or dispatching offensive substances in electronic form. This can be quite questionable as the same division the victim is relying on to receive legal assistance that could be used to prosecute him/her.

Conclusion

It is apparent that while courts and the statutory system are endeavouring to help by providing justice to sufferers of the before-mentioned offenses, other provisions of the laws could extinguish their applications. This could also further influence the path to justice to sufferers of such offenses who previously being oppressed by societal constraints and stigmatization, may moreover decide not to notify the corresponding to prevent being executed. While the prerequisite of the law is needed to counter the volunteered sending of photographs, the equivalent obligation takes into attention the permission of the opposing party in obtaining the same, particularly in a romantic/interpersonal relation among partners. Another feasible resolution is for current laws to be executed which appropriately discuss such new problems that are emerging in the practical world and which are not gendered in nature. Without such modifications being performed, the differences in the legal system would continue and prevent sufferers from conclusively getting justice.

“We need to nourish our youngsters with all the strength we can gather so that they can stop the dark technology without doing suicide”

[1]State of West Bengal v AnimeshBoxi, C.R.M. No. 11806 of 2017, GR/1587/2017. [2] ibid [3]Page 127 of the judgment. [4]Sale of obscene pictures [5]Any man who watches, or captures the image of a woman engaging in a private act in circumstances where she would usually have the expectation of not being observed either by the perpetrator or by any other person at the behest of the perpetrator or disseminates such image shall be punished [6]. Defamation [7]Whoever, intending to insult the modesty of any woman, utters any word, makes any sound or gesture, or exhibits any object shall be seen, by such woman, or intrudes upon the privacy of such woman, shall be punished [8]Whoever, intentionally or knowingly captures, publishes or transmits the image of a private area of any person without his or her consent, under circumstances violating the privacy of that person, shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to three years or with fine not exceeding two lakh rupees, or with both [9] shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years and with fine which may extend to five lakh rupees and in the event of second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years and also with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees [10]if any person who has secured access to any electronic record, book, register, correspondence, information, document or other material without the consent of the person concerned discloses the same shall be punished with imprisonment or with fine or both [11]See also Akshay Sripad Rao v. The State of Maharashtra, CrBA 2304 of 2017. [12]As the same constitutes an offence under Section 67(A) of the act as well. (as it involves the transmission or publishing of sexually explicit content in electronic form)

6 views

Follow

Use of LAWSCHOLE is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

©2020 by LAWSCHOLE. All rights reserved.