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  • HC stays crime proceedings against photographer over photos on lewd websites | Mumbai News

HC stays crime proceedings against photographer over photos on lewd websites | Mumbai News

The Bombay High Court recently stayed criminal proceedings before the magistrate against a professional photographer who was booked in 2021 on a complaint by a classical dancer, who claimed he had taken photos of her uploaded them on the internet, which led to some other unknown persons putting them up on objectionable websites.

While the woman claimed she suffered trauma as a result of the photos being uploaded to objectionable websites, the petitioner argued the role attributed to him was only to upload the photographs on websites such as Pinterest, a platform which even the complainant herself had uploaded her pictures.

A division bench of Justice Prakash D Naik and Justice Nitin R Borkar on November 30 passed an order on a plea by the man challenging the proceedings pending before a magistrate court in the city arising out of an FIR for offences punishable under Sections 354 (C), 500 of IPC and Section 66 (E) of the Information Technology Act.

As per the plea, the dancer had approached him for a photo shoot in September, 2019 where he took photos of her with her consent while she was dancing at a studio in the city. He was paid a fee for the same. As per the prosecution, the photographs were uploaded onto websites and were then uploaded to objectionable websites by unknown persons.

Appearing for the petitioner, advocates Harekrishna Mishra, Satish B Yadav and Poonam S Devkar submitted there was no evidence to indicate he was instrumental in uploading them on “objectionable” websites. The petitioner argued he had uploaded the photographs on non-objectionable websites for general information and educational purposes.

Festive offer

Appearing for the complainant, advocate Sachin R Agawane argued that on account of the photographs being uploaded on the websites without the dancer’s permission, the photos were subsequently uploaded on an objectionable website which caused her mental trauma.

“The question which arises for consideration is whether Section 354(C) and other offences invoked in this proceedings are attracted against the petitioner. Arguable questions are raised. There shall be ad-interim relief till final disposal of the petition,” the bench noted and stayed proceedings against the petitioner.

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