The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked media organisations to take down news items disclosing the identity of the eight-year-old girl who was murdered after she was allegedly raped in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua in January, IANS reported. The court said that despite an April order, some news outlets still named the girl.
On April 13, the High Court had issued notices to several media houses for revealing the girl’s identity. Later, it asked those media outlets 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 asked for the names of media organisations that have still not followed the order, and observed that several websites and social media sites were still showing the photographs and the name of the girl. The court also observed that one media organisation that had been served a notice had not yet appeared in court. The bench will next hear the matter on July 16.
India bars the publication of the name of a person against whom a sexual offence has been committed, under Section 228A of the Indian Penal Code. Jammu and Kashmir follows the Ranbir Penal Code, many of whose provisions are similar to the Indian Penal Code.
The murder and alleged rape of the eight-year-old had sparked nationwide protests after two Bharatiya Janata Party ministers in the Jammu and Kashmir government attended a rally organised in support of one of the accused. The two resigned from the Cabinet later. The chargesheet filed by the Crime Branch against the eight accused, including a juvenile, revealed sordid details of the crime.