"Honey Trap" scandal: Madhya Pradesh High Court grants bail to three accused, says victim brazenly misused privileges of his post
Three defendants in the "Honey Trap" case have been granted bail by the Madhya Pradesh High Court (Indore Bench), which involves allegations of blackmailing a government engineer into paying the accused Rs 3 crores in exchange for the release of some personal recordings. Although the alleged crime was clearly heinous, the Court said that the victim, Harbhajan Singh, an engineer with the Indore Municipal Corporation, was equally liable. Harbhajan Singh, the complaint, has openly abused his position's advantages and made himself a susceptible target for unscrupulous individuals. He spoke salaciously with the applicants, allowing himself the luxury of their intimate company, and when matters got out of his control, he started crying wolf," the Court noted. High-ranking officials must demonstrate a higher level of honesty, morality, and upright character, according to the Court. The Judge went on to say that these attributes must be maintained throughout one's career and life. The issue stems from a written complaint filed by Harbhajan Singh (complainant), who works for the Municipal Corporation of Indore as a Superintending Engineer. He said in his letter that the accused was blackmailing him. He claimed that the accused threatened to go viral with specific intimate videos unless he paid them Rs. 3 crores. Two women were said to have initially approached him for assistance. The women are said to have started conversing on WhatsApp after he helped them, sending intimate emojis of kisses and personal images. Finally, it was claimed that they had developed an intimate relationship with him. The complainant added that they took him in their confidence and started asking him to do illegal acts and, thereafter, started blackmailing him The applicants were charged for cheating, conspiracy, criminal intimidation, extortion and allied offences under Sections 419, 420, 384, 506, 385, 354-C, 370(1)(3), 389(b), 467, 468, 471, 120-B and 34 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and Sections 66-E, 67 and 67-A of the Information Technology Act, 2000.
"There is no doubt that the applicants have committed an immoral, unethical, and demeaning act unbecoming of the dignity of women," the Court stated. "However, they cannot be held solely responsible for their act because the complainant is also responsible for his act in the same way, if not more so, than the applicants," the Court added.