On May 9, a plea was submitted in India's Delhi High Court, for legal probe and arrest of those accused in the #BoisLockerRoom controversy that started earlier this week in the country. On May 3, leaked images from a private Instagram chat group went viral in India, drawing criticism for sharing nude images of underage girls.
The petition says that members of the private Instagram group chat, 'Bois Locker Room', who belong to affluent families, have threatened to leak explicit photos and hack the accounts of the women who exposed the group chat, stirring up a social media storm across the country.
Details of the Public Interest Litigation
Reportedly, a Public Interest Litigation has been filed in the Delhi High Court seeking direction for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe in the case relating to an Instagram chat group "Bois Locker Room" where rapes were glorified and photos of underage girls were shared and also objectified.
According to an IANS report: "The plea filed by Dev Ashish Dubey stated that a CBI or SIT (Special Investigation Team) probe is required in the matter as the students involved in this incident belong to 'influential families' and can hamper the investigation by the local police."
The plea states: "The entire issue needs to be investigated by the SIT or CBI as these students belongs to high profile families and there is an apprehension that the investigation or enquiry conducted by the local police will be influenced and wrongdoer's will never be arrested and punished."
The plea is likely to come up for hearing on Wednesday, May 13, also sought the court's direction to the Centre and Delhi government to provide safety to the girls and women who have exposed this heinous crime, so that they cannot be harmed by the members of "Bois Locker Room" group.
It further stated that the action of these students shows the mindset of the young generation towards the girls and "if it is not stopped at this time and these people are not punished at this time, it will lead to increase in crimes against the girls and women in the future."
Twitter users have shared news reports agreeing to the plea, many tweeted that it was essential to ensure the girls' safety.
The petitioner sought that the culprits shall also be punished under the section of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 too because "the crime has been conducted against the minor girls and various group members of the Respondent No. 3 company (Instagram) group are minor."
The admin of the group who was arrested, said he created the group to pass time amid the COVID-19 lockdown and further said that he did not know all the group members personally.
The petition stated: "The group is run by and has membership of 16 to 18-year-old boys from posh schools in South Delhi, all of whom were involved in the objectification of their classmates and other women, some as young as 14. The expletive-laden chats show the boys discussing having physical relationship with their classmates as well as rating them on a scale of beauty versus the size of their breasts, and how the latter makes up for any supposed deficiency in the former criteria."
"Another bunch of messages has the members sharing photos of teenage girls and making others guess the age," the petitioner claimed.
Apparently, when the leaked screenshots of the group chats went viral and caused outrage, many of the users of the group allegedly deactivated their social media profiles and "also allegedly threatened to leak nude photos and hack accounts of the women who had outed them".
One of the post states that "Let's post nude photos of all girls who posted stories about us. I have photos of some of them. Now they will know the result of these shenanigans. They will shut their mouth. They want to be feminists na... they will not be able to show their face in public", the plea stated.
Delhi Commission for Women chief files complaint
After the chatroom was exposed on Sunday by a girl targeted in the group chats, it drew massive anger, shock and disgust on social media. Delhi Commission for Women took suo motu cognizance of the matter, as did the Delhi Cyber Cell.
On May 8, the chief of DCW, Swati Maliwal on Friday filed a complaint with police after she allegedly received death threats on Twitter.
Reportedly, Instagram replied to an DCW's notice about the complaint. Instagram said the company had given information to police, based on which police is taking action.
However, unhappy with the response, DCW issued a second notice to Instagram to explain its entire process of dealing with sexual harrassment complaints.