High court: TV channel, cops fined for revealing identity of minor rape victim
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Observing that the newspaper had not published specific details that could have revealed the identity of the girl, the court did not hold the newspaper liable.
The channel had been accused of "giving wide publicity to the incident — by revealing the name, designation and office of the accused father; by showing several images of the colony and the house in which the petitioner and her family lived; and by airing the recorded voice of the petitioner refusing entry to crew members".
Holding that "the purpose of award of damages in such cases is also to set an example for others, so that it acts as a deterrent against such similar misadventures", the court directed Delhi Police to pay Rs 1 lakh to the girl, while asking Aaj Tak to pay Rs 5 lakh. The two respondents have also been directed to pay Rs 25,000 each as litigation fees to the girl.
The court also took note of a circular issued by the Delhi Police in 2002, which specifically prohibited police personnel from disclosing the name and identity of a rape victim, and said any press briefing would only be given by the DCP or the Joint CP (Range) concerned or the Crime Against Women Cell.
Noting that the circumstances of the leak of the information were unclear, the court has directed the police commissioner to set up an inquiry, headed by a DCP-level officer, to look into the leak of the disclosure of the FIR. The court has asked the police to conduct the inquiry within four months.
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