Dalit girl rape: HC to hear PIL on Rahul on Sept 27

Dalit girl rape case: Delhi HC to hear on September 27 PIL for FIR against Rahul Gandhi for disclosing identity of minor

The plea also seeks initiation of appropriate legal action against Gandhi by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. Credit: PTI Photo

The Delhi High Court Wednesday said it will hear on September 27 the plea seeking registration of FIR against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for allegedly revealing the identity of a 9-year-old Dalit girl who was allegedly raped and murdered in southwest Delhi, by publishing a photograph with her parents on Twitter.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh refused to issue notice on the public interest litigation (PIL) by Makarand Suresh Mhadlekar at this stage and asked the parties to “keep 1-2 pages of submissions ready on next date”.

Senior advocate Sajan Poovayya, representing Twitter, told the court that the tweet in question has been removed as it was found to be in violation of the platform's own policy.

“The account has been locked and the tweet is not available,” Poovayya said.

Counsel for Mhadlekar, advocate Gautam Jha, however, responded that he disputed Twitter's stand and urged the court to call for an affidavit.

“If this is the attitude, we are not issuing notice,” the court remarked as it proceeded to adjourn hearing.

Senior advocate R S Cheema appeared for Rahul Gandhi.

In his petition, Mhadlekar, a social activist, said that by posting the photograph with the parents of the child victim, Gandhi violated the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, which prohibit the disclosure of identity of minor victims of sexual offences.

It is alleged that Gandhi was “attempting to take political mileage out of the unfortunate incident”.

The plea also seeks initiation of appropriate legal action against Gandhi by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights.

The minor Dalit girl died under suspicious circumstances on August 1 even as her parents alleged that she was raped, murdered and cremated by a crematorium's priest in southwest Delhi's Old Nangal village.