TODAY -

Circulation of nude pictures ; All but prime accused bailed out
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, October 01 2015: The Court of Judicial Magistrate First Class, Imphal West-1 today released all the accused except prime accused Maibam Soni on bail with surety bonds of Rs one lakh each in the case of circulation of nude photographs of a married woman.

During today's bail hearing, Maibam Soni's defence counsel told the Court that the accused himself is a victim as he is also on the nude pictures circulated on different WhatsApp groups.

It is unimaginable to self defame oneself, the counsel said and added that as such, Soni must be rather made a witness instead of making him an accused.

The defence counsel also said that a third person clicked the pictures.

He further said that nowhere in the IT Act is it mentioned that storing nude pictures is an offence and Soni had never circulated the pictures from his laptop, the counsel said.

Saying that Soni has already spent 53 days in the jail in connection with the case, the counsel also said that the accused is now suffering from various ailments and no proper treatment facilities are available within the precinct of the jail premises.

In reply to the defence counsel's arguments, the Assistant Public Prosecutor (APP) told the Court that Maibam Soni is not a victim as he kept the pictures in his laptop for more than three months with a criminal intention to blackmail and defame the victim.

Saying that medical documents submitted by the defence counsel in favour of Soni highlighted that he is having high blood pressure and the same can be taken care of by proper meditation inside the jail.

He also pleaded the Court to direct the jail authority to monitor the health of the accused on a daily basis and added there is no compelling reason to release him on bail.

After perusing the arguments of the defence counsel and APP, the Court rejected Soni's bail plea stating that granting bail to the accused at the present stage would send out a wrong message to the public at large and it may further complicate the already disturbed married life of the victim.

Maibam Soni is a Jemadar of 1st Bn Manipur Rifles posted at police headquarters.

During the bail hearing of the remaining 10 accused persons, defence counsel of Maibam Uttam (accused number-2), Sub-Inspector Imphal East Commando told the Court that the Uttam received the nude pictures from Soubam Samananda (accused number-3) and one Meghnath, who is presently undergoing police training at Dhergai, Assam.

Meghnath had earlier got an interim bail from a Senior Judge of Imphal West.

The defence counsel said that Samananda and Meghnath uploaded the pictures on a WhatsApp group of 1999 batch of Johnstone Higher Secondary School.

The defence counsel also said that Uttam had no knowledge about circulating the nude pictures from his smart phone.

Regarding 10 accused persons including Uttam, APP told the Court that accused number-3 Soubam Samananda sent the nude pictures of the victim to Maibam Uttam (accused number-2) through WhatsApp from his mobile phone.

Accused number-4 Nitai Yambem alleged that he received the pictures from Kh Shitaljit Singh (accused number-5) and forwarded the same to Soubam Samananda (accused number -3) .

Kh Shitaljit Singh (accused number-5) alleged that he received the pictures from Thiyam George (accused number -6), who allegedly had uploaded the pictures from his mobile phone on WhatsApp group namely, 'Wangkhei Joint' .

Thiyam George alleged that he received the pictures from AK Jelson (accused number-7) who uploaded it from his mobile phone on WhatsApp group namely, 'Reunion' .

AK Jelson alleged that he received the pictures from Kshetrimayum Hopeson (accused number-8) and forwarded the same to George (accused number-6) .

Kshetrimayum Hopeson alleged that he got the pictures from a man from Wangkhei Thangjam Leikai, who is yet to be arrested.

This man uploaded the photos from his mobile phone on a WhatsApp group namely, 'Friendship Day' .

N Somorjit (accused number-9) alleged that he received the pictures from Mutum Romesh Singh (accused number-10) and uploaded the same on WhatsApp group namely, 'Highway'.

Mutum Romesh said that he received the pictures from Mutum Premjit (accused number-11) and forwarded the same to N Somorjit (accused number-9) .

Mutum Premjit alleged that he received the nude pictures of the victim from one Singson, who is also yet to be arrested.

He uploaded the pictures on WhatsApp group 'Expendable Highways' .

After perusing the arguments of both the prosecution and defence counsels, all the accused except prime accused Maibam Soni, were released on bail with surety bonds of Rs one lakh each.

The Court ordered that the accused persons must not interfere with the investigation of the case or try to manipulate evidence.

They must also not try to influence witnesses including the victim and they must appear before the Court and the police station concerned when required.

They must also not leave the State without the Court's permission.


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