State of Tamil Nadu (Petitioner) V. Suhas Kutti (Respondent)
4680 of 2004, Criminal Complaint
Court of Chief Metropolitian Megistrate, Egmore.
This case is related to obscenity posting about a divorce woman in Yahoo messenger group. It is the only unique case achieving conviction within short span of seven months from filing FIR. The Chennai Cyber Crime Cell achieved the conviction . In the case, a woman complained to the police about a man who was sending her obscene, defamatory and annoying messages in a Yahoo message group. The accused also forwarded
emails received in a fake account opened by him in the victim’s name. The victim also received phone calls by people who believed she was soliciting for sex work. This case, State of Tamil Nadu v. Suhas Kutti, Citation 4680 of 2004 criminal complaint was a landmark case decided in the least time regarding Cyber Crime Management.
Facts of the Case:
When the victim made the complaint in February 2004, the police traced the accused who was the victim’s friend, to Mumbai and arrested him. The police found the accused was interested in marrying the victim but she turned him down and married someone else instead. The marriage, however, ended in divorce, which is when the accused started contacting the victim again but she rejected him again. The accused then started harassing the victim online. On March 24, 2004, a chargesheet was filed under section 67 of the IT Act 2000, 469 and 509 IPC before the metropolitan magistrate in Egmore, Chennai. The defence argued that the offending mails were sent either by the victim’s husband or by herself to implicate the accused. On November 5, 2004, the magistrate found the accused guilty of offences under section 469, 509 IPC and 67 of IT Act 2000. He was sentenced to meticulous imprisonment for 2 years under 469 IPC and to pay a fine of Rs.500/, one year simple imprisonment and Rs 500 fine under 509 IPC and two years imprisonment with a fine of Rs 4,000 under section 67 of IT Act 2000. All sentences were to run concurrently.
Section 67 in The Information Technology Act, 2000, Punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form. -Whoever publishes or transmits or causes to be published or transmitted in the electronic form, any material which is lascivious or appeals to the prurient interest or if its effect is such as to tend to deprave and corrupt persons who are likely, having regard to all relevant circumstances, to read, see or hear the matter contained or embodied in it, shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years and with fine which may extend to five lakh rupees and in the event of second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years and also with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees.
The case is also significant for having introduced electronic evidence under Section 65B of the Indian Evidence Act for the first time in a Court, where a certified copy of the electronic document present on Yahoo server was produced by a private techno legal consultant, not being part of a Government forensic lab, and was accepted as the prime evidence of crime. The role of a private person as an “Expert” and the “Validity of Section 65B of Indian Evidence Act” were examined and validated in the trial.
During the trial conviction was also brought on the concept of “Forgery” of an electronic document under Indian Penal Code when a person writes his name below a message intending the recipient to consider it as a message sent by that person.
Whether the offence committed by the acused is beyond the reasonable doubt?
Additional chief metropolitan magistrate on 05-11-2004 delivered the judgement, “under section 469 and 509 of Indian Penal Court i.e., Forgery for purpose of harming reputation-Whoever commits forgery, intending that the document or electronic record forged shall harm the reputation of any party, or knowing that it is likely to be used for that pupose, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine. And Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman- It is bailable.
and section 67 of information technology act the accused is found guilty for the offence done by him, and for which he must convicted and sentenced to undergo rigrous imprisonment for 2 years, a fine of Rs. 500/- under section 469 of indian penal code also for the offence under section 509 of indian penal code that is mentioned above accused is sentenced for 1 year of simple imprisonment with the fine Rs. 500/-. And under section 67 of the Information Technology Act 2000 the accused has undergo for rigorous imprisonment of 2 years with the fine of Rs. 4000/-
The accused must have to pay the fine and imprisoned at central prison, Chennai.
Despite of all such arguments, the proofs were presented before the Court. The IP address belonging to the harasser was same as the accused. The Cyber Café owner, an eye-witness, gave statement against the accused. After relying on the expert witnesses and other evidences produced before Court, the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate held the accused guilty of offences under Section 469, Section 509 IPC and Section 67 of Information Technology Act, 2000.
(Section 469 of IPC- Forgery for purpose of harming reputation.)
(Section 509 of IPC- Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of woman.)
(Section 67 of Information Technology Act, 2000- Punishment for publishing or transmitting of material containing sexually explicit act, etc., in electronic form.)
Also, the accused is convicted and is sentenced for the said offence. He has to undergo 1 year of S.I (Simple Imprisonment) and pay a fine of Rs. 500/- under the charges of Section 509 of IPC. He also has to undergo 2 years of R.I (Rigorous Imprisonment) under Section 469 of IPC. For the offence under Section 67 of the Information Technology Act, 2000, he has to undergo 2 years of R.I. and pay a fine of Rs. 4000/-. All the sentences will run concurrently.
The case of Suhas katti is notable for the fact that the conviction was achieved successfully. All relevant circumstances, to read matter contaned or embodied in it.
Imprisonment of either description for term which may extend 2 years and with fine.
Which may extend to 5 lakhs rupees with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 5 years with fine 10 lakhs rupees.
This case was a landmark case regarding Cyber Crime Management.
NAME:- JAGRITI KUMARI SINGH
NAME OF THE INSTITUTION:- INDIAN INSTITUTE OF LEGAL STUDIES, SILIGURI WEST BENGAL.