It was the worst joke one could have played on her. A 23-year-old airhostess, with a private airline, was shocked to see her profile posted on Orkut that described her as a “sex-starved woman”.
The person who got her on Orkut, a social networking site, also posted her neighbour’s phone number with her profile. A photograph of her in her uniform was posted with her profile and she was made member of online communities soliciting sex.
To make sure her friends and colleagues noticed her, the person also connected her to communities of airhostesses, national and international airlines and multi-national companies.
Within no time, she was flooded with scraps (messages) “very obscene in nature”. Her neighbour, an official at Lok Sabha Secretariat, also started receiving “vulgar” calls.
“Since three weeks, men are calling up to give her indecent proposals. They have posted more than 250 messages in the scrapbook (on Orkut).
The accused has also made her a member of several communities that involved prostitutes and sex workers,” the woman’s lawyer complained in court on Monday.
Working on the complaint, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Kamini Lau directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Economic Offences Wing (EOW) to immediately order its cyber cell to trace the accused and file a report by February 9.
The EOW deals with Information Technology Act. The court has specifically asked the cell to keep the victim’s name and identity secret.
A senior EOW officer said investigations in such a case would depend on the information that Google, which owns the site, is ready to share. “We will have to find out the details of the per sons who had created that profile. This will be possible only if Google cooperates,” the officer said.
Before moving the court, the victim had approached the National Commission for Women but did not get any response. As per the complaint, on December 26, last year, the airhostess got to know about the profile through a friend who accidentally found it while surfing the net.
The victim’s neighbour also informed her family about the obscene calls they received seeking her details. The woman’s brother immediately reported the misuse to Orkut, which closed down the account. But two days later, the profile was reopened.
Legal experts feel the accused can be sentenced to rigorous imprisonment of upto 5 years with a fine of Rs 2 lakh, if tried under various sections of Information and Technology Act and the Indian Penal Code.
“One can only impose sections after some preliminary investigations, said Tarun Goomber, a criminal lawyer.