Can Sandeep Kumar be booked for criminal act?
HT asked experts if Kumar can be booked for a criminal act and if the case will stand in courtdelhi Updated: Sep 02, 2016 23:34 IST
A complaint filed by a delegation of BJP and Akali leaders led by west Delhi MP Parvesh Verma in connection with former Delhi minister Sandeep Kumar’s “objectionable” CD row has been forwarded to the crime branch.
The branch has constituted a special team to verify the authenticity of the CD, which Sandeep Kumar says is doctored.
The team will look into the BJP leaders’ allegations that Kumar, Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia sat on the CD for over 15 days.
HT asked experts if Kumar can be booked for a criminal act and if the case will stand in court.
Criminal lawyer Arjun Diwan said no criminal case can be made out against Kumar. A personal act behind closed doors is not a crime. In fact, the man who leaked the video with an intention to make it public is liable for punishment, he said.
“Recording a personal video is not a crime but circulating or publishing it on a public platform with an intention to tarnish ones image amounts to crime. In the present situation, no case can be made out against him (Kumar),” he said.
A case can be made only if the woman in the video approaches police or court and says Kumar recorded it without her knowledge. Kumar then may be booked under Section 354C - filming a woman during a private act and for representing a woman in an indecent way, outraging her modesty.
The filming is also in violation of the IT Act that bans publishing pornography in electronic form and its transmission/transfer.
No one knows about the woman in the video. Her marital status is important to establish the adultery angle. “Kumar can be booked for adultery in case the husband of the woman in the video approaches police. Adultery (section 497) is sexual intercourse with wife of another man,” he said.
Can Kumar’s wife complain of adultery? No, say experts. “Sections of adultery do not apply even if Kumar’s wife files a complaint against him, alleging she was cheated. Law says only the husband of the woman who is a party (in this case, the woman in the video) can file a complaint against the other male person about adultery. The woman is not an abettor in this situation,” advocate Arvind Jain said.
The BJP has also demanded action against Sisodia and Kejriwal. But no case can be made out against the CM and deputy CM as the act had no connection with the portfolio that Kumar held, say experts.
Action can be initiated if the video is found to be linked to his office in any way -- in this case, if it is proved he used his power and post to get sexual favours, or took sexual favours to get a job done.
“The CM or the deputy CM has no business entertaining complaints that question their minister’s personal life, until it is not influencing his work in any way. They are not duty-bound to question what a minister does in his personal space,” Diwan said.
Under what sections can he be possibly booked?
1)Adultery (Section 497), in case husband of woman in act files complaint against Kumar.
2)Section 354C - filming a woman during a private act if the woman files police complaint that video was shot without her knowledge.
3)IT Act: If it is found Kumar shot video to tarnish the woman’s image with an intention to later circulate it.
4)Immoral Traffic Prevention Act (for soliciting)