Woman’s plaint on bid to malign character to be decided afresh

Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14

A wife has filed a complaint before a Gurugram court seeking registration of an FIR against a woman, who she accused of using a fictitious Facebook account and an email id to malign her character before her husband to settle scores.

Her complaint will now be decided by a Judicial Magistrate afresh following an order by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The Magistrate had initially dismissed her application, but the order did not find favour with an Additional District and Sessions Judge.

The case has its genesis in an application filed by the wife under Section 156(3) CrPC before the court of Gurugram Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMIC), claiming she and her husband had been residing together since their marriage in November 2017.

Her husband received a “friend request” from an unknown Facebook account and emails that alleged she was of a “loose character”. The husband immediately filed a complaint with the Gurugram Commissioner of Police. It was referred to the cyber crime cell and the woman was found “guilty”.

The wife added that the woman admitted to have created a Facebook profile using a photo of another woman before levelling false allegations to settle scores.

The wife alleged the police did not register an FIR, even though the woman, during the course of inquiry, was found using the Facebook ID through different mobile numbers, which were found to be in her possession.

The JMIC called for a report from the police, but ultimately dismissed the application vide order dated February 18. Aggrieved by the order, the wife preferred a revision petition in the sessions court of Gurugram, which was accepted vide judgment dated May 23. Setting aside the impugned order, the judge directed the Magistrate to decide afresh the application under Section 156(3) CrPC.

The matter reached the High Court after the woman challenged the order. Justice Gurvinder Singh Gill observed the allegations were that the petitioner-woman created fictitious identities on Facebook and tried to defame the complainant-wife and, in fact, was successful in breaking the marriage.

Dismissing the petition, Justice Gill added the court was unable to subscribe to the Magistrate’s view. The complainant would not be able to collect details of the manner of committing the offence, as the same pertained to the use of social media through internet.

“Even the court on its own would not be fully equipped to requisite information and the services of some specialised agency in the nature of cyber crime cell would be required. In these circumstances, the matter is such which would be required to be scientifically investigated and which can be got done through the police.”

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