The Madhya Pradesh High Court in the case of Shivam Sharma vs The State Of Madhya Pradesh ( CRR-448-2022) upheld that it is an offense under Section 354-C of IPC if victim consents to the capture of the images but not to its dissemination to third persons and the image is still disseminated.
Facts of the case: The prosecutrix, who was aged about 16 years, had alleged that the applicant was also studying in the same school and, therefore, he was known to her for the last one year. He is continuously harassing her and stalking her. He always comes near to her and proposes that he likes her and he would marry her and in case, if she does not accept his proposal, then he would kill her. On 28.03.2021 at about 5 PM, when she was at about 5 PM, when she was going along with her elder sister Mansi to a temple, the applicant came near to her and started staring her while driving the vehicle around her. It was further alleged that the applicant was also harassing her by making calls and sending messages. He also threatened her that if she does not agree for his proposal, then he would upload her video and photo on social media. The acts of the applicant were told to her father and accordingly, the FIR was lodged.
This criminal revision under Section 397, 401 of CrPC had been filed against the order passed by Special Judge (POCSO Act), Gwalior in Special Sessions, by which the charges under Section 354-C, 354-D, 506 (Part-II) of IPC and Section 7 read with Section 8 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offence Act have been framed against the applicant. Challenging the order passed by the Court below, it was submitted by the counsel for the applicant that his argument was confined to charge under Section 354-C of IPC.
Judgment: Explanation 2 of Section 354-C of IPC makes out where the victim consents to the capture of the images or any act, but not to their dissemination to third persons and where such image or act is disseminated, such dissemination shall be considered an offence under this section. Since the applicant was threatening to make her photographs viral and as per statement under Section 164 of CrPC had also sent to her father, therefore, under the facts and circumstances of the case, the Court was of the considered opinion that the allegations prima facie make out an offence under Section 354-C of IPC.
JUDGMENT REVIEWED BY : SHUBHANGI CHAUDHARY