HC directs media to remove news identifying rape victim
New Delhi, May 29 (IANS): The Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed media organisations to remove news items disclosing the identity of an eight-year-old girl who was raped and murdered in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district.
The direction by a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C. Hari Shankar came after it was told that despite the court’s order to not identify the girl, some of the news organisations are still naming the child in news items. The court sought the names of such media organisations.
Observing that notice has not been served to one of the newspapers till now, the court said it was shocking that a newspaper is not aware of pending litigation despite the wide publicity of the news related to the matter.
The court noted that none from that media organisation had turned up for appearance before it and listed the matter for July 16 for further hearing. It had observed that several internet platforms and social networking sites are extensively displaying the photographs and the name of the victim.
The court last month directed 12 media organisations to pay Rs 10 lakh each as compensation for disclosing the identity of the girl, saying that there were long term repercussions for the victim’s family, especially for the women members, due to such kind of reporting.
The court said they had violated the law and could be punished under Section 228-A of the Indian Penal Code. Under Section 23 (Procedure for media) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, any person who discloses the identity of a child victim could be sentenced to a minimum six months’ imprisonment, it said.
The minor in Kathua was held captive inside a temple and sedated before being repeatedly raped and murdered.