SUHAS KATTI V. STATE OF TAMILNADU

By:- Aparajita Patel

NAME OF THE CASESUHAS KATTI V. STATE OF TAMILNADU
CITATIONC No. 4680 of 2004
DATE OF THE CASE5/11/2004
APPELANTSTATE OF TAMILNADU
RESPONDENTSUHAS KATTI
BENCH/ JUDGECOURT OF CHIEF METROPLOITIAN MAGISTRATE, EGMORE
STATUTES/ COSTITUTION INVOLVEDINFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ACT, 2000 AND INDIAN PENAL CODE, 1860
IMPORTANT SECTIONS/ ARITCLESSECTION 67 OF IT ACT, 2000 & SECTION 469 & 509 OF IPC, 1860

ABSTRACT:

The case remark for State of Tamil Nadu vs. Suhas Katti is contained in this document. The case is commonly referred to as “The Suhas Katti Case.” This case made headlines since it was the first conviction for cybercrime under the IT Act, and it was determined in 2004. Introduction, background, analysis of the case under section 67 of the IT Act, cyber stalking, internet evidence, and subsequent developments are all included in the case remark. There are several key factors in the case that make it significant in and of itself. Many people were inspired by the case to come forward and report cybercrime.

INTRODUCTION:

The case of Suhas Katti v. Tamil Nadu was the first in India to result in a conviction for posting obscene comments on the internet under the contentious section 67 of the Information Technology Act, 2000. The case was launched in February 2004, and the Chennai Cyber Crime Cell was able to get a conviction approximately seven months after the FIR was lodged. The woman reported to the police that a man was sending her filthy, slanderous, and unpleasant communications through a Yahoo messaging group. In addition, the accused forwarded emails received in a fictitious account he created in the victim’s name. The woman also received phone calls from others who thought she was looking for sex work.

BACKGROUND OF THE CASE:

The accused was a close friend of the victim’s family. The accused desired to marry the victim, but she declined and married someone else. The marriage ended in divorce. When the accused saw this, he saw an opportunity and proposed marriage to her. The victim declined once more. When the accused was turned down, he posted obscene and defamatory messages about the victim on Yahoo messenger groups, causing him injury.

The woman filed the lawsuit after she was harassed and received obscene messages on numerous groups with the purpose of insulting her. The messages were delivered by a man who was really interested in marrying her but after she refused him, that individual began sending these kinds of messages.

FACTS OF THE CASE:

The accused was the victim’s family friend. The accused desired to marry the victim, but the victim declined and married someone else. The marriage had disintegrated. When the accused saw this, he saw an opportunity and proposed marriage to her. The victim declined once more. When the accused was refused, he posted filthy and defamatory messages about the victim on Yahoo messenger groups, injuring him. However, the marriage ended in divorce, and the accused began contacting the victim again, but she refused him again.

The women filed a complaint against the accused after being subjected to such slander as a result of the accused’s actions. The culprit was detained by the police after a few days, based on the women’s complaint. On March 24, 2004, a charge sheet was filed under Section 67 of the IT Act 2000 and Section 469 of the IPC.

ISSUE RAISED BEFORE THE COURT:

“Whether the respondent 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?”

ARUGUMENTS FROM THE APPELANT SIDE:

  • The learned counsel from the appellant’s side argued about the harassment and the obscene comments and messages that she received through the mail and false accusation.
  • He further argued that the objectionable emails and messages, according to the defending attorney were sent by her ex-husband or someone else.
  • He said that the victim wanted to marry the accused and that after being refused, the victim tried to frame the accused with false accusations.
  • More over Under Section 67 of the Indian Evidence Act, defence counsel contended that part of the documentary evidence was not admissible.

ARGUMENTS FROM THE RESPONDENT SIDE:

  • The learned counsel from the respondent’s side stated that the damaging emails were sent by the victim’s spouse or herself in order to blame the accused.
  • The defence maintained that the infringing emails were sent by the complainant’s ex-husband or the complainant herself in order to implicate the accused, who was accused of turning down the complainant’s request to marry her.
  • Despite these arguments, the act ruled that the offence had been committed, and the accused was therefore found guilty.

RELATED PROVISIONS INVOLVED

The related provision involved in this case are Section 67 Of IT Act, 2000 & Section 469 & 509 Of IPC, 1860.

“Section 67 says that:[1]

Publishing obscene information in electronic form. -Whoever publishes, transmits, or causes to be published in electronic form any material that is lascivious or appeals to the prurient interest, or if its effect is such that it tends to deprave and corrupt persons who are likely, given all relevant circumstances, to read, see, or hear the matter contained or embodied in it, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term not exceeding five years and a fine not exceeding one lakh rupees on the first conviction, and with imprisonment of either description for a term not exceeding ten years and a fine not exceeding two lakh rupees on the second or subsequent conviction.”

Section 469 of IPC:[2]

“Forgery with the intent to harm a party’s reputation.—Whoever commits forgery with the intent to harm a party’s reputation or knowing that it is likely to be used for that purpose, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term that may extend to three years, as well as a fine.”

Section 509 of IPC:[3]

“Whoever, with the intent to offend a woman’s modesty, utters any word, makes any sound or gesture, or exhibits any object with the intent that such word, sound, gesture, or object be heard or seen by such woman, or intrudes upon her privacy, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term up to one year, a fine, or both.”

JUDGEMENT:

Under section 469 and 509 of the Indian Penal Court, i.e., Forgery for the Purpose of Harming Reputation-Whoever commits forgery with the intent 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 purpose, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a period of up to three years, and is also subject to a fine.

And any word, gesture, or behaviour meant to offend a woman’s modesty is punishable, stated by the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate on November 5, 2004, also section 67 of the information technology act, the accused is found guilty of the offence committed by him, for which he must be convicted and sentenced to 2 years of rigorous imprisonment, a fine of Rs. 500/- under section 469 of the Indian penal code, and also for the offence committed by him under section 509 of the Indian penal code, the accused is sentenced to 1 year of simple imprisonment, with a fine of Rs. 500/- under section 469 of the Indian penal code, And, under section 67 of the Information Technology Act 2000.

The accused has been sentenced to two years in prison and a fine of Rs. 4000/-. The accused must pay the payment and be imprisoned at Chennai Central Prison. Despite all of these objections, the proofs were presented to the Court. The harasser’s IP address was the same as the accused.

An eyewitness, the owner of the Cyber Café, testified against the defendants. The Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate ruled the accused guilty of offences under Sections 469, 509 IPC, and Section 67 of the Information Technology Act, 2000, based on expert witnesses and other evidence presented in court.

In addition, the accused is found guilty and sentenced for the offence. Under the accusations of Section 509 of the IPC, he must serve one year of S.I. and pay a fine of Rs. 500. He must also serve two years of R.I. under Section 469 of the IPC. He must serve two years of R.I. and pay a fine of Rs. 4000 for the offence under Section 67 of the IT Act, 2000. All of the sentences will run simultaneously.

CONCLUSION:

This case was the first in the history of the Indian judicial system to punish someone for sending obscene texts to a woman, causing her reputation and character to be harmed, as well as outraging her modesty.

It is a concept that the judgement should be based on a correct examination of the witnesses and facts of a particular case, and in the current context, it should be noted that the honourable judges decided the case correctly, which was filed under sections 67 of the Information Technology Act, 2000, as well as sections 509 and 469 of the Indian Penal Code.

The accused was properly sentenced because his actions were not only against the law but also against morality; publishing obscene content and speaking ill of women is a horrible thing to do. It should be mentioned that in Indian society, women are subjected to many criticisms and have faced several sexual remarks; therefore, the accused posted such obscene stuff in cyberspace, which devastated the petitioner and lowered her reputation.

The current case also prompted the government to impose a partial ban on pornography under Section 67 of the IT Act of 2000, which is now being litigated. This case encouraged a number of women to come out and talk about the similar issues they were having, as it was previously embarrassing for women to openly discuss the harassment they were experiencing. People were made aware that they have rights in the cyber realm as well, and that they should have faith in the legal system.

REFERENCES:

https://indianlawportal.co.in/


[1] Indian Kanoon: https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1318767/  [Last Visited on: 15th Aug., 2021]

[2] Indian Kanoon: https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1827979/  [Last Visited on: 15 Aug.,2021]

[3] Indian Kanoon: https://indiankanoon.org/doc/180217/    [ Last Visited on: 15th Aug. 2021]