The court was hearing a PIL seeking action against certain media houses that revealed the identity of the Hyderabad rape victim, a violation of section 228A of the Indian Penal Code.

Media house tenders apology in HC for revealing Hyderabad rape victims identity
news Legal Friday, December 20, 2019 - 19:41

One of the media houses, which had revealed the identity of the Hyderabad rape victim on Friday tendered an unconditional apology before the Delhi High Court and said that the woman's name was initially disclosed when it was a missing person's case.

Only after arrest of the accused and the offence of rape come into the picture and thereafter, the victim's name was substituted with a fictitious one in all the stories on the online platform and social media, it told the court.

The submission was made on an affidavit placed before a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar which listed the matter for further hearing on February 11.

The court also issued notices afresh to social media platforms Twitter and Facebook and online news portal, OpIndia.com as no one has appeared for them yet nor a reply has been filed by them to a PIL which has alleged that various media houses and social media platforms disclosed the rape victim's identity.

The media house, which filed its reply, has stated in it that police had revealed the victim's identity and it was carried in their stories as it was initially a missing person's case.

Thereafter, when the charred body was discovered, it became a murder case and then also the name was carried in the stories.

However, the fact about it being a rape case was revealed only after the arrest of the accused, the media house claimed in the affidavit in which it has also tendered an "unconditional apology".

The court had on the last date asked the media house whether it had revealed the identity of the victim in ignorance or "deliberately".

It had also asked the media house, to "Tender a nicely worded apology and file an affidavit".

The court was hearing a PIL seeking action against certain media houses that revealed the identity of the Hyderabad rape victim, a violation of section 228A of the Indian Penal Code.

Section 228A makes disclosure of identity of victim of certain offences, including rape, punishable with imprisonment of a term that may extend to two years and a fine.

The central government, meanwhile, has said it has no role in the instant matter as the incident occurred in a particular state.

It also told the court that it has issued an advisory to all states and union territories telling them to ensure identity of victims of rape are not disclosed.

A 26-year-old doctor was allegedly raped and killed in Shamshabad, Telangana, by four men on the night of November 27.

According to the Cyberabad Police, the four accused punctured the rear wheel of her scooter, offered to help her, but then dragged her to a secluded spot close to a toll plaza and raped her.

It said the victim died due to suffocation and the accused later burnt her body. The four accused were arrested and sent to judicial custody.

They were later killed in an encounter with the police a few days after their arrest.

The petition has said the news reports elaborately disclosed the identity of the victim, including her name, picture, occupation, residence and call details.

The plea has also sought direction to the authorities to prevent exposure of identity on online platforms, either directly or indirectly and blur the pictures which are being published.

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