‘One-time’ child porn accused gets HC relief | India News – Times of India

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MADURAI: A man accused of downloading and sharing child pornography has been granted anticipatory bail by the Madras high court on the ground that “it appears to be a one-off act”. The court also took cognizance of the fact that the prosecution’s case didn’t say “possession or transmission was for commercial purposes”.
“Of course, child pornography is a very serious issue warranting a firm approach. But I would make a distinction between a one-time consumer and those who transmit or propagate or display or distribute in digital domain,” said Justice G R Swaminathan, granting anticipatory bail to an engineer P G Sam Infant Jones, who is currently doing his PhD.
According to Madurai-Tallakulam all-women police station, Infant Jones downloaded pediophilic material on June 27, 2020, and shared them with a friend through Facebook messenger.

The offence was flagged by the international NGO National Center for Missing &Exploited Children, which maintains a cyber tipline. It tipped off National Crime Records Bureau in India and NCMEC, US. Based on the alert, Tallakulam police registered a case.
The judge said viewing pornography privately does not constitute an offence. “As per definition in Section 40 of IPC, offence is an act that is forbidden by law and made punishable. As on date, there is no provision prohibiting such private acts,” he said. Noting that there are a few who even elevate it as a right to free expression and privacy, he clarified that child pornography falls outside this circle of freedom.
Section 67-B of IT Act, 2000, penalises every kind of act pertaining to child pornography. It covers anyone who publishes or transmits material in any electronic form which depicts children engaged in sexually explicit act or conduct; or creates text or digital images, collects, seeks, browses, downloads, advertises, promotes, exchanges or distributes material depicting children in sexually explicit manner.
Justice Swaminathan chose to grant relief to Infant Jones, saying he had “not come under adverse notice” since the first offence and had also extended his cooperation to the probe. On the digital alert that landed Infant Jones in the child pornography net, the judge said, “It is obvious that the moment one steps into digital space, one comes under the surveillance of the state or those manning the social networking sites. If one is zealous about privacy, the only option is to stay outside such networks.”





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