crimes against children

Kathua case: Delhi HC sends notices to Google, Facebook and Twitter for revealing girl’s identity

The bench said social media networks had done ‘great disservice to the nation’.

The Delhi High Court on Friday said that social media platforms had done a “great disservice to the nation” by uploading content that revealed the identity of the eight-year-old girl who was allegedly raped and then murdered in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir in January.

The court issued notices to search engine giant Google, social media networks Facebook and Twitter and video-sharing website YouTube, after their local subsidiaries said they were not the concerned entity to reply to the notice, PTI reported.

“You have done a great disservice to the nation,” a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Hari Shankar said. “India has been branded. It is an injustice to the nation and to the victim’s family.”

The bench said that images were also circulated on WhatsApp showing India in a bad light. It said social media networks cannot absolve themselves of the “illegal activities on their websites”.

The bench also stayed proceedings initiated by the Press Council of India against some media houses for disclosing the identity of the victim.

On April 13, the High Court had issued notices to several media houses for revealing the girl’s identity. On April 18, the court had asked these media to pay Rs 10 lakh each as penalty, and warned that anyone who discloses the identity of an individual who was raped can be imprisoned for six months.

The court will next convene on the matter on May 29.

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