In Delhi, Today the order was passed by a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar the court had taken suo moto cognizance of the matter the Delhi High Court has directed media houses to pay rupees 10 lakh each as penalty for revealing the identity of the eight-year-old Kathua rape victim. The media houses apologised after following notices sent to them by the court over the issue. The notices were reportedly issued to 12 media houses on April 13 for disclosing the identity of an eight-year-old girl who was gang-raped and killed in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir.
Pronouncing the order, the bench also directed that information about the law regarding privacy of victims of sexual offences and punishment for revealing their identities should be publicised.
228-A section was also added in the Indian Penal Code by the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 1983 (Act 43 of 1983) mainly with a view to prevent social victimisation or ostracism of a victim of sexual offence. The abovementioned Act has simultaneously brought about drastic changes in the law relating to rape in sections 375 and 376 of the Indian Penal Code, and at the same time enacting four new sections 376-A, 376-B, 376-C and 376-D dealing with other kinds of sexual offences not amounting to rape.
Section also says that whoever either print or publishes the name of the victim or any matter from which the identity of a victim of any of the offences under sections 376, 376-A, 376-B, 376-C and 376-D may be known, shall be punished with simple or rigorous imprisonment for a term extending up to two years and shall also be liable to fine.
The court had earlier also prohibited the media houses from effecting any publication including the name, address, photograph, family details, school details, neighbourhood or any other particulars which may have an effect of leading to the disclosure of the identity of the child victim.
By- Aman Kumar Sharma, Student Reporter, INBA