The major rulings by the Supreme Court of India and High Courts in recent past; and the developments and changes in the legal arena impacting Indian citizens.
Delhi HC Fines Media for Revealing Kathua Rape Victim’s Identity
It is shocking to learn that some of the leading media houses in our country have grievously blundered in revealing the identity of the Kathua minor rape victim which shook the entire world. This should never have happened at the first place. It is known very well that the identity of a rape victim is never disclosed under any circumstances.
The Delhi High Court had on April 13 taken suo motu cognisance of the media houses disclosing the details of the gangrape victim. Among the prominent media houses who erred grievously in naming the rape victim include NDTV, India TV, Republic TV, The Week, First Post, Deccan
Chronicle, The Navbharat Times, The Pioneer, The Indian Express, The Statesman, The Hindu, The Times Of India, IE Online Media Services Pvt Ltd and apart from them even NCW, DCW, UOI and NCPCR also erred similarly. It is very rare to see so many prominent media houses among others getting caught on the wrong side of the law.
The court took very strong exception to this disclosure of name of rape victim which is never disclosed in public. A Bench of Delhi High Court comprising of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar in the landmark order titled Court on Its Own Motion v Union of India and Ors while slapping the fine of Rs 10 lakh stressed that revealing the identity of rape victim carries imprisonment. It should never be made public.
Needless to say, the identity of a rape victim cannot be disclosed and those guilty of doing so are liable to face punishment of up to two years under Section 228-A of the Indian Penal Code. According to sub-section(1) of this Section: “Whoever prints or publishes the name or any matter which may make known the identity of any person against whom an offence under Section 376, Section 376A, Section 376B, Section 376C or Section 376D is alleged or found to have been committed (hereafter in this Section referred to as the victim) shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years and shall also be liable to fine.” All media houses and all citizens of India must always next time be cautious of this and refrain from revealing the identity of the rape victim under any circumstances.
Kathua rape and murder victim.