Regulate therapists on social media: Karnataka HC | Bengaluru News.

BENGALURU: The Karnataka high court has refused to quash a cheating case filed against a social media influencer who took Rs 3.1 lakh from a city-based IT professonal she met on Tinder, a dating app, by claiming to be a wellness therapist.
The court, taking cognizance of the mushrooming of therapies and therapists on social media platforms, called upon the government to come up with regulatory measures to check such ‘pseudo-therapists’ who are not bound by ethics.
The drama unfolded during lockdown when the techie and the woman befriended each other on the mobile dating app.
‘Therapist’ had 15 online profiles
During a chat when the techie mentioned that he was stressed, she told him that she was a wellness therapist and directed him to her Instagram page. She claimed that she would provide therapy for the mind, body and soul through classes. Thereafter, she held several classes and the complainant transferred money. However, things got messy when the techie evinced interest in meeting her.
She refused and then blocked him alleging he was sending her lewd messages and pornographic content. Following this incident, the techie started checking for her online credentials only to learn that she had 15 different profiles on Instagram and other social media platforms. He lodged a complaint with Bengaluru North CEN police station. The woman approached the court stating that the proceedings against her be quashed as it was the techie who had approached her for his well-being and had voluntarily transferred money after being satisfied with her sessions. She claimed it is only because she did not respond to his lewd requests that he had registered a complaint against her.
The techie stated the first message came from her side under the name ‘Rishta’ and that she was a conwoman. Justice M Nagaprasanna refused to quash proceedings against the woman and stated: “It is in public domain that so-called therapies and therapists are mushrooming on social media like Instagram, Twitter or Facebook as the case would be, wherein therapists pose themselves to be in the field of any therapy. It is also in public domain that they are all pseudo-therapists who are “Instagram influencers”. The present case concerns psychosomatic therapy or wellness therapy. Therapists of the kind, are many on social media, in reality, they are not bound by ethics or not regulated by norms…”

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