SC Bans Media From Publishing Photos of Minor Rape Survivors
The Supreme Court of India took suo moto cognizance in the Muzaffarpur shelter sexual abuse and has banned the electronic and print media from revealing the pictures of minor victims of rape. The step was taken in the aftermath of the Bihar shelter home case in order to safeguard the innocent survivors from being socially judged. The SC has further barred the media from conducting any interviews with the minor victims as per Indian Express reports.
Decision taken after the Bihar case
In a recent case in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur 34 minors were raped at a shelter home run by Seva Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti.
Major concerns of honourable courts of India
Our Supreme Court has shown major concern over this revelation of the identity of the rape survivors. It intends to seek a detailed reply and has issued a notice to the state and the central government. As per Supreme Court, no media, be it electronic or print shall publish pictures, photos or videos of the survivors in any manner. Neither in morphed nor in blurred form.
Prior to this, Delhi High Court had also issued an order targeting the media for revealing the identity of the Kathua rape and murder victim. Gita Mittal, Chief Justice, authored this order showing her concern over the violation of the law of wrong reporting leading to disrespecting the privacy of the victims.
What the authorities have to say?
Over this case, Justice Pasayat said, “Keeping in view the objective of preventing social victimisation or ostracism of the victim of a sexual offence for which section 228-A has been enacted, it would be appropriate that in the judgments, be it of this court, high courts or lower courts, the name of the victim should not be indicated.’’
It is interesting to know that in America, there isn’t any law for the prohibition of publishing photos of the victims but American media has made it a mandatory norm of not doing this.
All in all, it can be said that this order of the Supreme Court is being considered beneficial for the survivors especially if they are minors. This may increase the chances of exposing of more and more cases which were never reported due to the fear of identity revelation.
Dolly Bhardwaj is an intern with SheThePeople.TV