The Union Home Ministry has barred media from printing or publishing in print, digital or social media the name of sexual assault victims and wrote in a current communication to states and Union Territories that the name of the sufferer can solely be made public with permission from the court docket. The directive stated the “identity of the victim if dead or of unsound mind should not be disclosed even under authorisation of the next of kin”.
In its letter, the ministry stated, “In case of minor victims under POCSO, disclosure of their identity can only be permitted by the Special Court, if such disclosure is in the interest of the child.” The transfer, officers stated, follows the gangrape and homicide of an eight-year-old lady in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district. Several rights teams have raised an objection within the method during which the lady’s id was disclosed throughout this time, officers defined.
While reiterating that “no person can print or publish in print, electronic, social media etc the name of the victim or identify her in a remote manner”, the MHA famous, “In cases where victim is dead or of unsound mind, the name of the victim or her identity should not be disclosed even under the authorisation of the next of the kin, unless circumstances justifying the disclosure of her identity exists, which shall be judged by the competent authority, which at present is the Session Judge.”
It added that the FIRs underneath part 376 (Punishment for rape), 376 (A) Punishment for inflicting loss of life or leading to persistent vegetative state of sufferer, 376 (AB) Punishment for rape on lady underneath twelve years of age, 376 (C) Sexual intercourse by an individual in authority, 376 (D) (Gang Rape), 376 (DA) Punishment for gang rape on lady underneath sixteen years of age, 376 (DB) (Punishment for gang rape on lady underneath twelve years of age) or 376 (E) (Punishment for repeat offenders) of IPC and offences underneath POCSO shall not be put underneath public area or uploaded or web site.
It additionally directed law enforcement officials to “keep all the documents in which the name of the victim is disclosed in a sealed cover and replace these documents by identical documents in which the name of the victim is removed in all records which may be scrutinised in the public domain”.
After the 2012 Delhi gangrape, a petition filed within the Supreme Court sought acceptable measures for making certain the security of girls at public locations and suggesting that the FIRs of sexual assault instances shouldn’t be positioned within the public area.
The apex court docket final month made scathing remarks about protest rallies being taken out within the name of sexual assault victims. “The identities of even the dead or those of unsound mind cannot be disclosed in any manner, even with the parents’ nod. Such an action will need the court’s permission,” the highest court docket had noticed.
Besides this, the court docket instructed states and Union Territories to undertake different measures, together with establishing of “one-stop centres” in every district inside a 12 months, to counsel and rehabilitate rape victims.