The High Court of Delhi today (25 April) said that the names or photographs of a victim of sexual abuse should not be revealed as such actions have long term "detrimental consequences", reports PTI. The observation was directed at a media house which later apologised for having revealed the identity of the eight year-old girl who was raped and killed in Kathua, Jammu and Kashmir.
The bench had made the observation after the aforementioned media house tried to defer paying a compensation of Rs 10 lakh that the court had ordered, claiming that it had done so to "arouse public sentiments and sympathy".
The media house in an affidavit said that the name and photograph were made public to "arouse public sentiments and sympathy", and added that it wanted to ensure justice with the belief that it was was permitted as the information was circulating on social media since her body was found in January.
The court added that changing the victim's name or redacting information would not ensure justice and that the media house’s continual to carry the article was akin to advocating that the publication could change the law. It ordered the media house to pay the amount within ten days and added that it could not be put up on a special pedestal when other media houses had agreed to pay the amount.
The long term consequences of revealing a victim’s identity are drastic and detrimental to the victim and her family. We do not need photographs of the victim for people to be sympathetic. As a result of revealing the identity of the victim, her whole family is ostracised and suffers.The bench led by Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar
Under Section 228A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that deals with disclosure of identity of victims of such offences, the penal law provides for jail term of two years with a fine.
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