By: Team Kanoonirai
Advice in Criminal Law

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Sending offensive messages

by | 19 May, 2016 | Criminal Law

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My wife has been downloading my photos from social networking websites and sending them to my brother in law with vulgar comments. She has unnecessarily started posting false statements claiming to be made by me as well. The communication I have had with her is only for 10 days after my marriage as she left to her mother’s house after that. We have not had any conversation as such in these 10 days because I had to report back to work.

Please tell me what to do? She has been accessing my social database and downloading my photos. I do not want to become a victim of false statements. I want to take legal action against her for accessing my social network, provoking my in-laws against me and creating problems in my married life. She has also made extremely disgusting and rude statements about me and my husband not having a child yet and has called my husband and me bad words (like buffalo and other animal names) in her WhatsApp messages to my brother in law. My brother in law has not responded to her messages. Please advise me about the best legal option.

She has been committed the offence of Defamation and Intentional insult which is punishable under section 500 IPC and section 504 IPC respectively. However, her act was punishable under section 66 A of The Information Technology Act 2008 but the Supreme Court of India in the case of Shreya Singhal v. Union of India, (2013) 12 SCC 73; declared its unconstitutional. Thus no complaint can be filed for the offence punishable under section 66 A of IT Act.

You cannot prevent her to access your photos etc on Facebook because you posted it for public access. You have the right to restrict its access to the selected person and such an option is given in the privacy settings of Facebook.

You said that “She has unnecessarily started posting false statements claiming to be made by me as well.” This act constitutes an offence punishable under section 66 D of the Information Technology Act. When a person cheats by personation by using computer resources he shall be punished under section 66 D of the Information Technology Act. The sentence for this offence is three years of imprisonment and a fine up to one lakh rupees.

If she hacked your password etc then you can prosecute her under section 66 C of the Information Technology Act.

You should file a complaint under section 200 of the code of criminal procedure for the offence punishable under section 500/504 IPC and section 66 D of IT Act. Both offences punishable under IPC are non-cognizable and bailable but offence punishable under IT Act is cognizable however it is also bailable. so she can get bail easily.

You may file a complaint, with all the evidence regarding commission of the offence, before the Metropolitan Magistrate at Bangalore under section 200 of the Code of Criminal Procedure [CRPC].

You have to prove that prima facie the offence has been committed. You should collect all the evidence like a print out of all such messages and pics etc. also take a screenshot of all such messages. All such evidence is relevant and admissible under section 65 B of the Indian Evidence Act and it is necessary to enable the court to take cognizance of the offence.

When the court has reason to believe, on the evidence adduced in support of complaint under section 200 CRPC, that offence has been committed it shall take cognizance of the offence.

Bangalore’s court has jurisdiction to try these offences because according to section 182 of CRPC when offence committed via communication medium court has jurisdiction to try the offence in whose local jurisdiction such messages were sent or were received.

Court after taking cognizance of the offences, it can either pass an order of investigation under section 202 CRPC or issue summon/warrant to the accused under section 204 CRPC.

You wrote that she has stopped coming to court after realizing that the verdict is going against her. You should file a expedite petition before the High Court under section 482 of the code of criminal procedure for expeditious hearing of the case without giving unnecessary adjournments to the accused. The court can direct to dispose of the case within a stipulated period.

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