|Name of the Case||Suhas Katti v. State of Tamil Nadu|
|Citation||C No. 4680 of 2004|
|Year of the Case||2004|
|Appellant||State of Tamil Nadu|
|Bench/Judges||Court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Egmore|
|Acts Involved||Information Technology Act, 2000 and Indian Penal Code, 1860|
|Important Sections||Section 67 of the IT Act, 2000 and section 469 and 509 of the IPC, 1860|
The Suhas katti case is the first case in India to create a benchmark in the cyber-harassing issue. The case was filed by a woman for posting obscene messages about her. The case involved questions of cyber stalking and harassing a woman. It was filed on February, 2004 after which the Chennai cyber crime cell achieved the process of conviction.
The case was filed by the woman on basis of sending obscene messages. The case has set a standard for convicting the offenders who send offending messages which defames, annoys a person because of its obscene and vulgar nature. The case is of prime importance also in the field of providing online evidence under section 65B of the Indian evidence act in the court for the first time.
Background Of The Case
The case was filed by the woman on the basis of being harassed and getting obscene messages on various groups with the intention of offending her and it was sent by the man who was very keen in marrying her but then she rejected him for which that person started sending these kind of messages.
The accused man was the friend of the victim. He was desired to get married to the victim, Ms. Roselind, but she got married to someone else rejecting him. Later then she got divorced after which he tried to allure her again. After this rejection being infuriated, he started to harass the women by sharing her number and also by posting obscene messages on various groups with the motive of offending her and making people to believe that she was a woman of wrongful nature. After which she started to receive messages from unknown people and she was very much insulted. The accused created a fake account in the name of the victim, Ms. Roselind with the intention of harming the reputation of the victim. Based on the above situations, the victim filed a complaint under section 67 of the IT Act, 2000 and under sections 469 and 509 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
- Whether the accused was liable for charges under section 67 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and under sections 469 and 509 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860?
The related provisions involved in this case are 67 of the IT Act, 2000 and under sections 469 and 509 of IPC, 1860.
- The Kerala High Court in the case of Sreekumar V. v. State of Kerala held that even if the word is abusive, unparliamentarily it cannot be considered as obscene unless it arouses the sexual feeling of the person against whom the message was made.
Their Lordships after examining all the previous case laws on the subject laid down the following proposition of law in the following words speaking through Justice N. Santosh Hegde:
“23. Be that as it may, if the law laid down by this Court in T.T. Antony case1 is to be accepted as holding that a second complaint in regard to the same incident filed as a counter-complaint is prohibited under the Code then, in our opinion, such conclusion would lead to serious consequences. This will be clear from the hypothetical example given hereinbelow i.e. if in regard to a crime committed by the real accused he takes the first opportunity to lodge a false complaint and the same is registered by the jurisdictional police then the aggrieved victim of such crime will be precluded from lodging a complaint giving his version of the incident in question, consequently he will be deprived of his legitimated right to bring the real accused to book. This cannot be the purport of the Code.
“24. From the aforesaid decisions, it is quite luminous that the lodgment of two FIRs is not permissible in respect of one and the same incident. The concept of sameness has been given a restricted meaning. It does not encompass filing of a counter-FIR relating to the same or connected cognizable offence. What is prohibited is any further complaint by the same complainant and others against the same accused subsequent to the registration of the case under the Code, for an investigation in that regard would have already commenced and allowing registration of further complaint would amount to an improvement of the facts mentioned in the original complaint. As is further made clear by the three-Judge Bench in Upkar Singh, the prohibition does not cover the allegations made by the accused in the first FIR alleging a different version of the same incident.
Thus, rival versions in respect of the same incident do take different shapes and, in that event,, lodgement of two FIRs is permissible.”
- The petitioner filed the petition to make certain guidelines for the conviction of the offender for sending obscene messages and sending contents related to sex under section 67 of the IT Act, 2000.
Based on the examination of the facts and circumstances of the case, the honourable judges has passed the judgement by sentencing the accused under section 67 of Information Technology Act, 2000, section 509 and 469 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 for his acts which was not only against the legality of the country but also against the morality, posting obscene material and talking ill about women which is shameful and it should be noted that these kind of acts should be completely stopped in order to protect the woman from various unhealthy remarks.
The concepts highlighted in this case are fulfilment of cyber-harassment under section 67 of the IT Act, 2000, defaming and outraging the modesty of the woman under section 509 of IPC.
This case has secured a trademark place in the history of Indian legal system to convict a person on the grounds of sending obscene messages by harming the reputation and character of the woman and also by outraging her modesty.
Whether Online Evidence Can Be Attached For Proceeding With The Case?
In case of cyber bullying and cyber harassment, online evidences are indispensable as they play a major role in case of conviction.
Whether Conviction Can Happen On The Presence Of Obscene Messages Alone?
The conviction can happen not only on the mere sending of obscene messages but also it should have enraged one’s sexual feeling.