The case discusses the posting of revenge porn online and the need for a right to be forgotten. In a rape case, the accused (petitioner) had created a fake Facebook ID in the name of the prosecutrix and uploaded objectionable photos using the fake ID. The police had failed to take any step on the complaint of the prosecutrix. The pictures were captured with the consent of the victim when they were in a relationship.
It is their right to enforce the right to be forgotten as a right in rem. Capturing the images and videos with the consent of the woman cannot justify the misuse of such content once the relationship between the victim and the accused gets strained. If the right to be forgotten is not recognized in matters like the present one, any accused will surreptitiously outrage the modesty of the woman and misuse the same in cyberspace unhindered.
In such cases, either the victim herself or the prosecution may, if so advised, seek appropriate orders to protect the victim’s fundamental right to privacy, by seeking appropriate orders to have such offensive posts erased from the public platform, irrespective of the ongoing criminal process.
The Odisha High Court also observed that the Indian Criminal Justice system is more of a sentence-oriented system with little emphasis on the disgorgement of victim’s loss and suffering…allowing such objectionable photos and videos to remain on a social media platform, without the consent of a woman, is a direct affront on a woman’s modesty and, more importantly, her right to privacy.
Case Name: Subhranshu Rout @Gugul vs. State of Odisha
Citation: Odisha HC- BLAPL No. 4592 of 2020
Court: Odisha High Court