Earlier in March, three former law students of OP Jindal Global University—Hardik Sikri and Karan Chhabra was sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment. Another student Vikas Garg was sentenced to seven years in jail. They were held guilty for blackmailing and raping a student of the same university for two years.
Turns out that the WhatsApp conversations between the accused and the girl was a crucial evidence in sealing the fate of the students from the private university in Haryana.
According to a report in Hindustan Times, it was the 'abusive and vulgar' WhatsApp chats that proved that the victim was being blackmailed by her seniors.
Additional sessions judge (ASJ) Sunita Grover said in her judgment that the chats are so "abusive and vulgar that the extracts of the same cannot be explained and put into the judgment".
The judge notes that one of the accused, Hardik, had circulated the girl's nude pictures among his friends through WhatsApp and threatened to make them public on the university's website. He even forced the girl to use a sex toy so that he could watch her on Skype.The convicts have been in jail since April 2015 after the girl accused them of raping her for 2 years since she joined the university.
The girl's legal advisor, Advocate Prashant Mendiratta, said that the verdict is probably the first of its kind dealing extensively with electronic data.
In a petition earlier, the girl had said that there was a lot of pressure (including political) on her parents to withdraw the case. "The interference of politicians in thwarting a free, fair, proper, unbiased and transparent investigation becomes evident when the transfer of the SHO who had registered the FIR on April 11, on the very next day, is looked at from a proper perspective," the petition said.
Recently, the Delhi High Court allowed the use of WhatsApp and email in judicial proceedings. In fact, now the blue double-tick can be taken as receipt proof.