First person in Maharashtra convicted under IT Act

A man was convicted under the Information Technology Act for emailing vulgar pictures to a woman he had met on Orkut in 2009; she had already removed him from her friend list, but he continued to send her images

Maharashtra yesterday saw its first conviction for a cyber crime under the Information Technology Act. The Metropolitan Magistrate Court on Friday convicted a man for continuously sending vulgar pictures to a woman he had met on a social networking website in 2009.

IT Act
Representation Pic/Thinkstock

The accused has been identified as Yogesh Prabhu, who was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment and slapped with a fine of R 15,000. The incident occurred in 2009, when the complainant, an employee of a private firm, met Prabhu on the now defunct social-networking website Orkut. Initially, she chatted with him, but removed him from her friends’ list after disliking his behaviour online.

A few days later, she started getting vulgar pictures on email. She initially ignored it but when Prabhu continued to send her messages, the woman got scared and approached Rakesh Maria, who was then the joint commissioner of police (crime). Maria handed over the matter to the Cyber Cell of the Mumbai police, which then started their investigations.

The Cyber Cell got the IP address of the computer from which the emails were sent, and this led them to the physical location of the device. It turned out that Prabhu had indeed sent the emails. His computer was seized and the sent folder in his email also showed the emails he had sent to the complainant.

Prabhu was arrested and booked under Section 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code, along with Section 67 (publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) and other relevant sections of the Information Technology Act. He was later released on bail while case proceedings continued.

Confirming the development, Dhananjay Kulkarni, spokesperson, Mumbai Police, said, “Mumbai Cyber Cell secured its first ever conviction in Maharashtra under the IT Act.”

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