The Delhi high court on 18th April, Wednesday lashed out at various media houses for revealing the name, identity and other information of the victim of the Kathua gang-rape case. Court further imposed the fine of Rs.1O lakh each and directed that the transferred amount will be a compensation fund to the victims of J&K. Court held that any further disclosure of the information victim will lead to imprisonment for six months. The next hearing of the case is on 25th April.
The Delhi High Court took suo-moto cognisance of the act of the publication of the identity and photographs of the eight-year-old child who was gang-raped and further murdered in the district of Jammu and Kashmir, Kathua, by various media houses and publishers.
A Bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C. Hari Shankar said the “nature and manner” of the reportage was in “absolute violation of the specific provision of law disrespecting the privacy of the victim, which is required to be maintained in respect of the identity of a victim”.
The Delhi High Court order lists reports in The Times of India, The Hindu, The Statesman, The Pioneer, The Navbharat Times, The NDTV News Channel, First Post, The Week, The Republic TV, The Deccan Chronicle, The India TV and The Indian Express, which was brought to its attention.
The Bench further referred to the provisions in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act of 2012 and Indian Penal Code, in context of revelling the identity of victims of the sexual offence is prohibited.
The court said it was “pained” that none of the authorities, including the NCPCR, the NCW or the DCW, “reacted to this terrible development.”
Concluding, the court directed the agencies and media houses to made necessary changes in the article published in the past and to remove the victim name and further identity from all past articles.