Friday, July 4, 2008

Camera , Camera on the wall

The famous Pune cases, which sparked a debate about the need for amendments to the IT act to cover voyeurism, have yet to produce results in court. In the first case, the manager of a swimming pool at Sahakar Nagar and a peon were arrested on September 12, 2003, for installing a web camera in the changing room.

Two years later, Mohan Kulkarni, a landlord from the Navi Peth area, was arrested for using a camera to spy on his women tenants.On their part, store managements claim their trial rooms are safe. Big Bazaar says the controls for their electronic gadgets are in the managers’ cabin, which remains locked in their absence.

The Wills Lifestyle management said their trial rooms have large doors with wooden slats, which means the customer has an outside view but no one can look inside.

Following the Hindustan Times report, stores in Mumbai have become vigilant.Kapsons owner Vipin Kapoor said they have posted guards outside changing rooms.But there are some who would rather be safe than sorry.

Kolkata’s actress and model June Malliah never uses trial rooms: “Mirrors in trial rooms are tricky because someone can see you from the other side.”

Complaints of hidden cameras in lingerie stores are common. A school teacher shopping in Kolkata’s New Market spotted one when she was looking for a hook to hang her clothes: “The lamp was missing but there was a small camera.” She did not raise an alarm but never entered the store again.

Though the Constitution has included the right to convict a person committing such a crime, there is no specific law under which he can be punished. “The punishment depends on the gravity of the offence, which depends on the evidence,” said Vaidehi Limaye, a student of cyber laws at Government Law College. A case can be filed under Section 509 of Indian Penal Code subject to fulfilling some conditions.

Despite electronic gadgets taking voyeurism to new dimensions, the Information Technology Act under which most of the cases are registered has serious lacunae.

Mou Chakraborty/Yogesh Joshi, Hindustan Times
Kolkata/Pune, June 23, 2008
First Published: 01:54 IST(23/6/2008)
Last Updated: 02:06 IST(23/6/2008)

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