On 7th March 2018, in the Court of Judicial magistrate, 1st Class, 3rd Court, Tamluk, Purba Medinipur, pronounced a judgement  in the case of State of West Bengal Vs Animesh Boxi. (Case no GR 1587/17).

See Report here

The essence of the case pertained to a complaint from a girl that the accused had uploaded certain nude photographs of her in a porn website.

The accused was convicted under Sections 354A, 354C, 354 and 509 of IPC as well as Sections 66E, 66C, 67 and 67A of ITA 2008. The case involved presentation of electronic evidence of different kinds and forensic investigation online and on a mobile device, a Computer etc.

Obviously the judgement which runs into 129 pages has attracted attention of Cyber Crime experts and academia and will be debated even in the coming days.

While on the face of it, it appears that a girl was adversely impacted and deserves sympathy and the boy deserves to be condemned for his action, from the perspective of judicial dispensation of the case, the judgement does not inspire confidence that proper justice has been done.

We are presently in the midst of another complaint in the case of the cricketer Shami, again in the courts of West Bengal where a woman has used the provisions of gender biased law to charge Mr Shami of “Rape” and “Murder”. She has also roped in some of the relatives of Mr Shami to ensure that he is condemned for life.

See the report on Shami here

In the midst of a genuine need to prevent atrocities on women, the misuse of law meant for addressing genuine grievances of an exploited woman being used by the rich and powerful to take undue advantage is a matter of concern for the society. When law is misused repeatedly, the public confidence on such laws and the enforcement mechanism dwindles.

The Police and the Judiciary therefore has an additional responsibility in such cases to ensure that without in any way negating the spirit of the law to protect oppressed women, they donot impose the law with a harshness that is not deserved under the given circumstances.

Naavi.org has been in the forefront of a “War on Cyber Pornography” for the last two decades and hence will always be supportive of oppressed women. However when privileged women tend to settle their personal revenge misusing legal provisions, and the Police and Judiciary turn a blind eye or abets such a misuse, there is a need to raise a voice of protest.

I would like to refrain from a discussion on these cases in these columns because any thing said is likely to be mis-interpreted. From the information available in the media it must however be put on record that both the complaint registered against Mr Shami and the above Judgement of “Revenge Porn” donot inspire confidence that proper justice has actually been done.

I leave it to the future to determine if events that may unfold substantiate this view.