Delhi HC: Rs 10 lakh penalty on media houses for disclosing Kathua rape victim’s identity
Notices were issued to 12 media houses on April 13 after the court took suo moto cognizance of the matter
The Delhi High Court has directed media houses to pay Rs 10 lakh each as penalty for revealing the identity of the eight-year-old Kathua rape victim, according to media reports.
The order was pronounced by a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar after the media houses apologised 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. The court had taken suo-motu suo moto cognizance of the matter.
The money has to be paid to the Jammu and Kashmir Victim Compensation Fund within a week, the media reports stated.
The advocates representing the media houses are reported to have told the court that they revealed the identity of the victim by mistake and ignorance of law because they thought it was okay to name her as she was dead.
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.
The court had earlier 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".
The rape and murder of the eight-year-old has shook the entire nation. The victim had gone missing from near her home in a village near Kathua in Jammu region on January 10. Her body was found a week later.
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