Student moves HC for bail in dating site ‘misuse’ case

A student from Mohali has moved the Bombay High Court against charges of insulting the modesty of a woman and publishing sexually explicit material after he connected with a woman on a dating application.

Harminder Charan Singh (25), hailing from Mohali and a Bachelor of Computer Application student in Patiala, connected with a woman (32), on an application called Meecha. The woman claimed that on March 18, she started receiving obscene messages on her private WhatsApp number from various unknown mobile numbers and one of them messaged her saying her number was obtained by him from a pornographic website. She said her number has been put on the pornographic Meecha app. Here is how Meecha describes itself, “An app with which life could be more fun and less lonely; possibly, you could even meet “the one” if you try.” Given its world wide coverage, users could easily find nearby friends in their location, it says.

“Meecha has integrated new elements allowing users to interact freely via text, audio, video, as well as sound photos and audience-targeted video broadcast to attract nearby users to say ‘hi’ first.”

Mr. Singh connected with the woman on March 23, who accused him of sharing her number and sending her obscene messages. Malvani police station charged him with Section 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 67A (Punishment for publishing or transmitting of material containing a sexually explicit act, etc., in electronic form).

He was arrested and produced before the Borivali magistrate and sent to two days’ police custody. On June 27, he was remanded to judicial custody. He applied for bail on the same day, but his application was rejected by the additional chief metropolitan magistrate. He then moved the sessions court in Dindoshi for bail but the application was rejected there too on July 5. He has now moved the HC and is represented by Advocate Harshawardhan Salgaonkar.

Mr. Singh has said he was not

responsible for her number being posted on Meecha app for being contacted.

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