Delhi HC restrains circulation of sexually explicit video of judicial officer

The high court also allowed the plea to conceal the identity of the individuals and to conduct the hearing of the case in chamber (privately).

December 01, 2022 01:15 pm | Updated 03:02 pm IST - NEW DELHI

A view of Delhi High Court.

A view of Delhi High Court. | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

The Delhi High Court has ordered against sharing, distribution, forwarding or posting of a “sexually explicit” video of a judicial officer and a woman that surfaced recently on social media platforms.

Following an urgent hearing on late Wednesday night, Justice Yashwant Varma noted that due to the sexually explicit nature of the contents of the video “imminent, grave and irreparable harm” is likely to be caused to the privacy rights of the individuals in the video.

The high court also allowed the plea to conceal the identity of the individuals and to conduct the hearing of the case in chamber (privately).

Justice Varma noted that the full court of the high court has itself taken cognisance of the incident on its administrative side, and pursuant to a resolution, its registrar general has conveyed to authorities the need to take appropriate action for blocking the video over all messaging and social media platforms as well as through internet service providers (ISPs).

The high court had taken up the case on urgent mentioning and in light of the imminent and irreparable harm that is likely to be caused to the individuals.

“The Court has had an occasion to view the content in respect of which the complaint is made. The Court bears in mind the provisions of Section 354C of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 as well as 67A of the Information and Technology Act, 2000 which laws, prima facie, would appear to be violated in case further circulation, sharing and distribution of the video were to be permitted,” Justice Varma said.

The court also asked the Centre to ensure that all further steps as warranted are taken and a compliance report is submitted in these proceedings.

The high court’s order came after of the individuals in the video approached its seeking permanent ban on publication and telecast of the “purported video dated March 9, 2022 which is stated to be circulating on various social media platforms as well as web portals since November 29, 2022”.

The high court will hear the case again on December 9.

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