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Revenge Porn Is One Type Of Cyber Crime

Abstracts

Revenge porn is a type of cyber crime which has became common these days in our society as well as whole world. There is no specific provisions regarding revenge porn in any of the statutes but, the cases are dealt under certain provision of Indian Penal Code, 1860 and Information Technology Act, 2000. Provisions of different statutes can also be applicable as per the facts and circumstances of the cases.

Keywords : Revenge porn, Pornography, Non- consensual, Obscene, Cyber crime, Internet, online, Victimization, Accused, legal remedies, Indian Penal Code, Information Technology Act, cases, Publishing, Transmitting, Pictures.

The minister of law and IR, Ravi Shankar Prasad,  in his speech at event of Internet and Mobile Association of India( IAMAI ) this year, expressed his concern on the increasing abuse of social media platforms like YOUTUBE, WHATSAPP, and GOGGLE to proliferate contents of sexual natures. He also said that phenomenon of “ Revenge Porn” is “ creeping in India”.[1]

Revenge porn is one type of cyber crime which has became common these days in our society, country and all over the world. This porn is a form of non- consensual pornography, which came into attention at International level with the launch of one website named, isanyoneup. This website allowed to upload nudes photographs.

 As per Merriam-Webster dictionary, Revenge porn is a “ sexually explicit images of a person posted online without that persons consent especially as a form of revenge or harassment.”  Huge problem with is that once it is uploaded on the internet it is accessed not only in India but all over the world. “ revenge porn videos and live web cams finds huge market in India and abroad. Clips or often used by blackmailers to extort money and sexual favours from the victims and their families,” said by Prashant Mali, Bombay High Court Lawyer and Cyber Expert[2]

According to a 2016 survey by an Indian NGO, CYBER and LAW FOUNDATION, it was found that the 27% of internet users are around age group from 13 to 45 in India has been subjected to instances of Revenge porn[3].  This type of pornography are distinct form or forms of non-consensual pornography, it includes information or details of victim which has been captured without force or say with consent of the victim or sent to the accused in good faith during the course of intimate relationship between them.

Due to absence of any law which recognizes the crime of revenge porn there is no statistics around cases related to revenge porn. Cases related to this type of pornography are dealt under the statute of Indian Penal Code and information Technology Act( IT Act).  However if we see, the data of National crime records bureau[4], ‘ there a 104 percent spike in the volume of obscene content shared electronically between 2012 and 2014 alone in 2010 35%  of the women report their victimization and about 46.7% have not reported the case and 18.3% was aware of their victimization but did not reported there case due to fear of society.  Half of the women faces the prevalence of ‘ victim shamming’ by the criminal justice system. In some cases victim do not go to police station filled with the male officers to come about their victimization and there is no such provisions  in any statutes which says that it is mandatory to assign a female officers in such cases. According to Triveni Singh, Additional Superintendent(cyber crime), UP Police, victims of these cases generally do not approach the cops but have directly approached him for seeking help[5].

In year 2018, a landmark judgment was passed by the session court of West  Bengal on Revenge Porn. Name of the case was, West Bengal v. Animesh Boxi,[6] this case is widely considered as the first case in which session court of Tamluk, West Bengal has given imprisonment of five year and fine of rupees 9000 to the accused in the case, for uploading objectionable and private pictures of the victim without her consent. As said above their is no such specific provision under any statutes which talks about the revenge porn and its punishment. So, in this case the accused was convicted under the section 354, 354A, 354C and 509 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, along with the section 66E, 66C, 67 and 67A of Information Technology Act. Most important part of the judgment of this case was that the sessions court directed the State Government to treat the victims of ‘ revenge porn’ as a Rape survivor and to provide the victim appropriate compensation.

Facts of the case was that the accused was in the intimate relationship with the victim and has obtained objectionable pictures of her when they were in relationship. The accused asked those pictures after promising her to marry in future, but after the breakup the accused uploaded the pictures and videos on pornography site writing the name of victim and her father. Judgment of the case was so good that became landmark under the area of crime of revenge porn.

Legal remedies in India for this cyber crime:

After reporting the case in cyber cell or police station various sections of Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) and Information Technology Act, 2000 is used as provision to convict the  accused of revenge porn.

The provisions of Indian Penal Code,1860 which attests a conviction for act of revenge porn are[7]:

  1. Section 292- this section talks about Distribution or circulation of obscene material.
  • Section 354C- According to this section Capturing or dissemination of pictures of a women engaged in a private Act without her consent.
  • Section 499- this section talks about a person intending to harm or having a reason to believe the same would harm an individual’s reputation or character.
  • Section 509 – according to this section , act intended to insult the modesty of a women.

The provisions of Information Technology Act which is considered under the revenge porn are[8]:

  1. Section 66E – according to this section, violation of privacy, ‘ publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form.
  • Section 67 – this section talks about publishing or transmitting of material containing sexually explicit act, etc. in electronic form.
  • Section 67A –  this section talks about publishing electronic material containing sexually explicit act.
  • Section 72-  this section talks about, Breach of confidentiality and privacy.

On the basic of circumstances of the facts of the cases, other law also have their applicability on revenge porn cases, such as section 4 and 6 of, Indecent Representation of Women (prohibition) Act, 1986, (IRWA) which prevents publishing of photographs (among other things) which contains indecent representation of women. Like this provisions of other statutes can also be applicable if the circumstances or facts of the case demands.

In Subhendu Nath v. State of West Bengal[9] the high court of Calcutta observed that, ‘there is a crying need to train and familiarize members of the police force in matter of collection, reception, storage, analysis and production of electronic evidence.”

In Shibani Barik v. State of Odisha[10]  High court of Odisha has observed that “…….Tik Tok mobile App which often demonstrate a degrading culture and encourage pornography besides causing podophiles and explicit disturbing content, is required to be properly regulated so as to save the teens from its negative impact, the appropriate government has got the social responsibility to but some fair regulatory burden on those companies which are proliferating such applications.”

SUGGESTION:

  • Victims should not hide the crime just in fear of society
  • If there is no cyber cell in area then case can be filed in any police station
  • Police station filled with male officers does not means they will harsh the victim
  • If the victim do not want to file case herself then can seek help from women commission of that area or any NGO working form women
  • In very case its not necessary that male is wrong may be the female is misleading the facts
  • Both male and female avoid searching obscene pictures or videos, as cases of revenge porn is result of this virtual searching.  

CONCLUSION

With rapid growth in use of social media, cyber crime has increased parallelly. The world is more depended on the social media for fun and enjoyment. In India it has been trend to be on social media if we see certain survey on increasing rate of Indian getting involved and influenced by the social media platform. From the above discussion on the abuse of social media at level of revenge porn clearly shows the society is becoming dirtier in point of humanity. Revenge porn is different from the crime of rape, morphing or voyeurism, it is mostly like reaction of the action taken by victims of this type of cyber crime. This kind of pornography is taken with the consent of the victim when they used to be together in a relationship of love or marriage. Although there is no specific provision for this crime till date but as seen above there are certain provisions in Indian Penal Code and Information technology Act which deals in these types of case and there are many judgments which shows that the victims are getting justice. There is no doubt that the judiciary system will not provide justice when the cases will came. So, for the demand of justice one have to file the case without the fear of society and people in this narrow minded society. Ever victim needs to stand for themselves because self-belief is most important thing in any kind of battle whether be physical or mental. Government also to thing about the growing abuse of the internet and the privacy of the its citizen and make the punishment for this type of crime more serious and make a single provision for revenge porn which includes all the elements of various provisions of IPC and IT Act which deals with the cases of revenge porn. Males are also sometime victims of these type of crime but due to gender biased provision in our statutes there is no voice raise against this, so according to me there should be laws which also support or deals with the crime against the males as this generation is all about equality. Revenge porn is also a deadly crime as sometime victims commit suicide and some time; they are forced to get engulfed in commercial sex rackets which kills their sole. It need to be stopped as “IF NO MEANS NO, THEN EVER YES IS NOT YES” sometime the yes has it limit and duration.  For more information you can contact or seek advise from lawpanch.

By – Nidhi Kumari

[1]www-timesnownews-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/
[2]www.timesnownews.com/amp/mirror-now/in-focus/article/revenge-porn-how-it-destroys-lives-and-how-to-deal-with-the-menance/, www.timesnownews.com
[3]Tech-economictimes-indiatimes-com.cdn.amproject.org/v/s/tech.economictimes.indiatimes.com/amp/news/internet/the-wrath-of-revenge-porn-in-india/ , www.ecomomictimes.com
[4]Criminallawstudiesnluj.wordpress.com/2020/04/13/revenge-porn-prosecution-under-the-current-indian-legal-system/

[5]Supra1

[6]Supra2

[7]C.R.M no. 1806 of 2017, GR/1587.

[8]Universal, Bare Act of Indian Penal Code, 1860.
[9]www.indiankanoon.com

[10] C.R.M. NO. 650/2019(Date of Decision : 18/02/2019)
BLAPL NO. 915/2020

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