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A minor girl’s Facebook friend request does not license the accused to initiate sexual contact: Himachal Pradesh High Court

Sending Friend Request, Not a “Invitation” to Sexually Exploit Others, is upheld by the High Court of Himachal Pradesh through the learned Judge JUSTICE ANOOP CHITKARA, in the case of , Rajeev v State of Himachal Pradesh, (Cr.MP(M) No. 113 of 2021).

Brief facts of the case:

A 19-year-old boy is in custody for taking a 13-year-old girl to a hotel where he engaged in sexual activity with her taken the defence that the victim had sent him a friend request on Facebook. He has petitioned the court for regular bail on the grounds that since she had created a Facebook account in her name, anyone would believe she was at least 18 years old, and this is what he believed about her age.

 

JUDGEMNET:

People use social media for networking, education, and enjoyment, not to be hounded or sexually and emotionally exploited. “The fact that the victim issued the defendant a friend request does not grant him the right and freedom to engage in sexual contact with her, the court concluded.

Due to the fact that social media is a public forum, the single-judge panel stated that it is not unusual for individuals to withhold some information regarding their age and identity.

The Court emphasised that if a minor misrepresents his or her age on Facebook, it does not establish a prima facie inference that the individual is not a minor but a major of 18 years of age or more.

JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY – HARILAKSHMI

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