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Plea in HC seeks action against media houses for revealing victim's identity

Plea in HC seeks action against media houses for revealing victims identity

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Wednesday asked the Centre and the governments of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi to respond to a plea seeking action against certain media houses that revealed the identity of the Hyderabad rape victim.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar issued notices to the central and three state governments, as well as some media houses and social networking platforms on the petition.

The court also sought responses of Press Council of India and News Broadcasting Standards Authority of India on the plea which has sought initiation of appropriate proceedings against the media houses and individuals who have allegedly revealed the identity of the rape victim, which is an offence under the law.

Ministry of Home Affairs was represented through central government standing counsel Ajay Digpaul in the matter.

The court asked them to file their replies and listed the matter for further hearing on December 16.

Section 228A of the Indian Penal Code 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 petition filed by a Delhi-based lawyer said the plea aimed to curb the practice of exposure of identity of the rape victims in violation of the IPC sections and various Supreme Court precedents.

He said there was blatant violation of Section 228A by individuals and media houses by publishing elaborate reports revealing the identity of the victim and the four accused in Hyderabad rape case on various online and offline portals.

The plea also alleged that there was inaction of the state police authorities and their cyber cells to curb the constant revelation of identity of the victim and the accused persons.

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, dragged her to a secluded spot close to a toll plaza and raped her.

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