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FB smut charge against student

A case has been registered against a student of a private polytechnic in Ranchi for allegedly uploading objectionable pictures of a female fellow pupil on Facebook.

The accused in his early twenties, who studies electrical engineering at the Centre for Bioinformatics, has been booked under Section 354A of the Indian Penal Code and Section 66E of the Information Technology Act (see box) for morphing images of the 22-year-old polytechnic student who he knew through common friends.

If found guilty under the mentioned sections, the youth faces imprisonment up to five years or fine not exceeding Rs 2 lakh or both.

The purported victim met city SP Anoop Birtharay on Monday with copies of the superimposed pictures on the social networking site after her friends alerted her. The senior officer asked a team from Mahila Thana to escort her to Doranda police station, where OC Subodh Kumar Srivastava registered a formal complaint.

“Preliminary investigations suggest that the two do not belong to the same batch and knew each other through common friends. The boy is from Ranchi’s Hinoo area and studies electrical. Doranda police are probing the allegation and will follow up the matter with the cyber cell,” Birtharay said.

The Centre for Bioinformatics was established under the Trust SNEH (Society for Nature, Education and Health) in 2003 and registered as a non-profit organisation. It is a self-supporting, self-financed and privately managed institute.

According to the cradle’s official website, it received the approval from AICTE and a no-objection certificate from the science and technology department of the state government the same year.

In 2008, the Trust got the affiliation of AICTE to start diploma in electronics and communications engineering. The centre also received affiliations for diplomas in civil and mechanical engineering in 2010 and for electrical engineering in 2011.

An employee at the institute’s city office said she was not aware of any police complaint against any student made by another student. “We have not been approached (by the victim) or informed of any case (against the male student in question),” she said.

LENS ON LAWS

Section 354A, IPC: sexual harassment

Punishment: provision for maximum rigorous imprisonment of up to five years or fine or both depending on the nature of offence

Section 66E, IT Act: violation of privacy; intentionally capturing, publishing or transmitting objectionable images of a person without his or her consent

Punishment: imprisonment up to three years or fine not exceeding Rs 2 lakh or both


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