A woman in Tamil Nadu’s Tuticorin city filed a complaint against 49 of her colleagues at Bharatiya Sanchar Nigam Limited for sending smileys to her on an official WhatsApp group, The Times of India reported. The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court has, however, stayed the First Information Report filed in connection with the case.
Divisional engineer L Vijayalakshmi in her complaint had said that she had sent a clip on the WhatsApp group which showed the grievance of a customer. The WhatsApp group comprised BSNL officials from the administration affairs department. She had asked the officials to sort out the matter, however, she was sent emojis on the group by the members, Vijayalakshmi said.
The officer said she was humiliated and disturbed by the incident and that the smileys were sent to her in order to “harass” her. The Tuticorin police registered an FIR against the group members under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of Women Act and the Information Technology Act.
The employees who were accused in the complaint approached the Madras High Court seeking to quash the FIR. During the hearing on Thursday, Justice PN Prakash said the woman’s complaint did not warrant any of the provisions mentioned. The bench observed that everyone had the right to express their views on social media, The Indian Express reported.