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Prying digital eyes on Lady Washroom in Call Centre
In an age of modern & revolutionized communication electronic equipments, the privacy of an individual is under siege. The advanced tiny camera has made profound adverse impact upon our concept of privacy as we know it. The India is not untouched by the adverse impact of these peeping toms and the newspapers were flooded with various unsavory stories (even from small towns) of surreptitiously concealed video cameras prying into bedrooms, bathrooms, malls, changing rooms, washroom, swimming pool in prurient attempt to film unsuspecting victims while in various states of undress. There has been an unprecedented increase in incidents involving the surreptitious video tapping of the private parts of unwilling females even in public places like Ladyís washroom in Call Centreís or BPOs where one can reasonable expect his or her privacy. The BPOs are prone to these voyeuristic acts as females constitute the major work force in this sector and most of them work in night shifts.

A male employee of a call center at Pitampura, Rohini, Delhi was detained by the police, on the suspicion that he placed a spy camera pen in the female washroom of the call centre with the intent to click the female workers in various states of undress. Although the offending act of this male employee may appear as ridiculous or laughable at the first instance, it is in fact a very invasive and intimidating crime particularly in our society where the females or ladies are respected or worshipped.

The aforesaid offending act clearly attracts the provision of Section 66E IT Act which punishes the act of Video Voyeurism, but the police have arrested the culprit under Section 509 Indian Penal Code and not invoked the provisions of the Information Technology Act, 2000, may be they may not be aware of the applicability of the provisions of the IT Act to the offending act. Nevertheless, the very offending act attracts the provisions of the Section 509 IPC as the intention of the accused was to cause insult to the modesty of a woman which has been done by intruding upon the privacy of such woman. As stated above, even the capturing of image of private area is sufficient to constitute an offence under Section 66E, and it is not necessary that the transmission or publication is necessary to complete the offence. Further, the pen drive has been seized by the police and if the images stored in the pen drive has been further transmitted by the accused, then it would also attract the offence under Section 67 IT Act which makes punishment for publishing or transmitting of material containing sexually explicit act in electronic form.

However, the offences under both Section 509 IPC, Section 66E & 67 IT Act though cognizable is bailable and in view of the increased incidents of gross intrusion of privacy of woman at work place by use of peeping cameras, it is imperative on the legislature to make the offence non-bailable and also enhance the punishment. The offence is not simple as it seems to be. It is a very serious offence having deep adverse ramifications. Letís take the example of this case, what if, accused person transmits or post the obscene images on internet. It would definitely cause irreparable damage to the reputation of the victim girl or her family and would spoil her life. So, the legislature, categorize the offence as non-bailable offence in view of the seriousness of the offence.
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