Private Photos of Case Parties To Be Only Accepted with Court Permission: Allahabad HC directs registry

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Filing of photographs that depict private moments between the parties or indecent photographs invade the privacy of persons and can also in some cases prove to be a traumatic experience, said the court

The Allahabad High Court has directed its registry that without the express permission of the court, private or indecent photographs will not be accepted for filing.

Court issued the direction in response to the inclusion of private photographs of the parties involved in a rape case, which were appended to the rejoinder affidavit submitted with the bail petition.

The bench of Justice Ajay Bhanot said, "Filing of photographs which depict private moments between the parties or indecent photographs invade the privacy of persons and can also in cases prove to be a traumatic experience".

The court was deliberating on a bail plea filed by the accused seeking relief in a case registered under Sections 376 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), as well as Section 67 of the Information Technology (IT) Act. The allegations against the applicant stated that he had raped the victim under false promises of marriage.

However, it was argued by the accused that the victim and he had engaged in consensual physical relations and were intimate, with no promise of marriage made by him to the victim.

Furthermore, the accused claimed that the FIR against him was a fallout of the relationship gone awry. 

Additionally, the accused asserted that he had neither taken nor disseminated any indecent photographs or videos of the victim, and none such materials were found in his possession.

The high court observed that apart from the current case, the applicant had no criminal record and was languishing in jail since November 2023. 

Court opined that the accused did not pose a flight risk and there was no indication of him attempting to influence witnesses, tamper with evidence, or engage in further criminal behavior.

Hence, without making any observations on the merits of the case, court allowed the bail petition. 

However, before concluding the matter, court acknowledged the photographs submitted with the petition and recognized their private nature. In light of this, the high court directed the registry to prioritize the privacy of individuals involved in legal proceedings.

Case Title: Pradumn Gond v. State of UP