WhatsApp Chats Land 3 Sonepat University Students in Jail for Rape
Other than WhatsApp, the accused also used Skype and iCloud to harass the victim.
WhatsApp messages have landed three students of Sonepat University with a prison sentence in a seemingly unprecedented case of its kind. While two of them, Hardik Sikri and Karan Chhabra, were sentenced to 20 years each, the third accomplice Vikas Garg, was sentenced seven-years jail term. The charges levelled against them include gangrape and blackmail, reported Hindustan Times.
While passing the judgement, Sunita Grover, the Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ), said:
The WhatsApp chats running into pages is so abusive and vulgar that the extracts of the same cannot be explained and put into the judgment and what only can be concluded through the WhatsApp chat is that the prosecutrix (victim) was totally under control and dominance of the accused, Hardik.
The judge said the messages also prove that the girl was put under “stress”and “duress” by the three. The judgement was passed on 24 April.
Hardik was also found of circulating obscene pictures of the girl. He had stored several of these pictures on on Apple’s iCloud, an online storage platform. Hardik used these pictures to blackmail the victim and threatened to put them on the university website if she did relent to his demands. Skype, another online platform primarily used for video chats, was also used by Hardik to harass the girl.
The online trail of the exchanges between the girl and the three accused led the judge to reject the defence argument that the girl’s consent was involved. The girl’s legal advisor, Advocate Prashant Mediratta, upheld the verdict as perhaps the first of its kind owing to the role electronic data played in it.
The court accepted the evidence because it was original and taken from the girl’s cellphone directly.Advocate Prashant Mediratta to Hindustan Times
The convicts were already in jail since April 2015 when they were first accused by the girl of rape since she joined the university in August 2013.
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