Chennai: The Pollachi sexual assault case has hit a road block after WhatsApp messaging app refused to co-operate in putting together pieces of evidence.

The Madras high court received a complaint that the popular messaging app refused to share details sought by the investigators regarding the Pollachi sexual assault case.

WhatsApp plays an important role in this case as it was used as a medium for sharing and circulating videos.

The crime branch CID had sought log details of the four accused in the Pollachi sexual assault case, for the last one year from social networking sites Facebook and messaging app WhatsApp.

The accused had videographed sexual acts and abusive behaviour with women, and shared it through WhatsApp and Facebook.

Investigators sought for log in and log out times in order to prove in court that the accused were indeed using the messaging platform at the time. This, to ensure that they don’t get away claiming the evidence was fabricated.

A Madras high court division bench of Justices S Manikumar and Subramonium Prasad who heard the petition questioned the Centre as to why it should not ban such social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, Twitter etc in the country if they did not adhere to the law of the land and not assist the investigating agencies in solving cyber crimes.

WhatsApp in its privacy policy states, “We may collect, use, preserve, and share user information if we have a good faith belief that it is reasonably necessary to (a) keep our users safe, (b) detect, investigate, and prevent illegal activity, (c) respond to legal process, or to government requests, (d) enforce our Terms and policies.”

The high court adjourned the case to April 25 for further hearing and ordered notices to all social media companies seeking their response.

The Pollachi sexual assault case first came to light in the month of February when a college student was assaulted and videographed in a car, during lunch break.

Scores of women had been subject to the same kind of abuse and four men had been arrested in connection with the case.

The case took a political turn after a former AIADMK functionary had been named in the case. The accused are now in judicial remand.