Rape victim identity: SC seeks details of action taken

The top court had earlier restrained the media not to publish an interview of any rape victim

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Press Council of India and voluntary bodies like the National Broadcasting Standards Authority and the Editors Guild of India to tell specifically in how many cases action has been taken against media houses for revealing the identity of rape victims.

A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta took exception to a contention by senior advocate S Ganesh, representing NBSA, that in most cases, the complaints are closed after complainants expressed satisfaction with the response or apology by a reporter or the media house.

“Is it not your duty to point out to police that it is a violation of law,” the bench said that there was nothing in this regard in the previous affidavit filed by the NBSA.

The court also referred to #MeToo campaign wherein several women have come with complaints of sexual harassment.

On a counsel's plea action should be taken in such cases, the bench said, “We don't want platitudes. We want specific details in how many cases the police were informed and the prosecution was launched.”

According to Section 228 A of the Indian Penal Code, disclosing the identity of a rape victim is a punishable offence with a maximum prison term of two years and fine.

The top court had earlier restrained the media not to publish an interview of any rape victim in any form anywhere across the country.

The court's direction has come on a plea filed by Patna-based journalist Nivedita Jha, who challenged the Patna High Court's order against media gag in reporting of sexual assault of inmates at a shelter home in Muzaffarpur.

 

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Rape victim identity: SC seeks details of action taken

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