RAPE ACCUSED NOT TO ALLOW USE OF ANY SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM BY A RAPE ACCUSED TILL THE INVESTIGATION GETS OVER: JUSTICE P.V. KUNHIKRISHNAN (KERALA HC)

*Fact*
Muhammed Shifas (28), from Ernakulam, the accused in the case, took advantage of his relationship with the victim to take her to a resort in Cherai on December 22, 2018 on the pretext of giving her a birthday gift. He then raped her.
Thereafter, he had taken nude photos of the victim and threatened her not to tell anyone about this or he will post her pictures on social media. Not only that, he further used this as his tool of getting his desires fulfilled and raped the girl six more times.
Though the girl obeyed his command, he posted her pictures on Facebook and demanded Rs 1 lakh from her to delete those pictures.

*Reasoning*
1. Old methods or conditions like asking to surrender the passport or appear before an investigation officer while granting bail to an accused in a crime is fairly common, but times have changed now.
2. Heavens will not fall if a condition is imposed in a bail order restraining the accused in a rape case from using social media, especially when it is to protect the victim girl’s privacy.
3. The girl is in fear that if the accused is released on bail, he may circulate the photos on social media again. Under such circumstances, there was nothing wrong in imposing a condition that the accused shall not use social media platforms.
4. If any violation of this condition is reported by the victim, the investigating officer should do the needful in accordance with law.

*Held*
The court has allowed the bail in view of the principle that bail is the rule and present situation of Covid-19 Pandemic.

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