The Madras High Court on Friday directed the authorities concerned to take steps to delete all video clips on social media relating to sexual harassment of women by a gang in Coimbatore district which had allegedly used them to blackmail the victims.
A division bench of justices N Kirubakaran and S S Sundar, which gave the direction on a petition by Ilamukhil seeking deletion of all the video clips of the victims, observed that the release of such videos on social media had taken a toll on the mental well being of the victims and their relatives.
It also recommended introduction of a chapter on the 'good and evils' of the internet and other social networking sites in textbooks in educational institutions.
The court directed the police to maintain vigil to prevent recurrence of such incidents.
The petitioner alleged that the names of the victims had found a place in the government order issued by the Tamil Nadu government facilitating the CBI to take over the case involving the sexual harassment of a 19-year-old woman by the gang.
The petitioner sought a direction to the authorities concerned to delete the names of the victims of sexual assault from the social media.
The accused was produced before Chief Judicial Magistrate S Nagarajan through videoconferencing as police apprehended violence.
After assigning the case pertaining to the sexual harassment of a 19-year-old woman by the gang in Coimbatore district to CB-CID on March 12, the government had issued an order for a CBI probe in the wake of allegations that several other women had been assaulted.
The four-member gang had on February 12 allegedly tried to strip the woman inside a car near Pollachi, over 500 km from here, recorded the act and blackmailed her using the visuals.
The victim, who managed to free herself, lodged a complaint with the police on February 24.
The case assumed political overtones since a local functionary of ruling AIADMK allegedly attacked the victim's brother.
The four accused in sexual harassment case --Sabarirajan, Thirunavakkarasu, Sathish and Vasanthkumar -- are under judicial custody and were booked under various sections of the IPC, Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of Women Act and the Goondas Act.
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