Name of Rape Victim shall not be specified in proceedings: SC to Subordinate Courts


Queency Jain – 

Just after the Sessions Court mentioned the names of the rape victims in its judgment, the Supreme Court has objected to the behaviour of the Sessions Court thereby directing the Subordinate Courts to be more careful and not to reveal the identity of the rape victim in any proceedings.

The direction comes after a plea was filed by a rape convict who was sentenced to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment for raping a minor girl under Section 376(1) and 342 of the Indian Penal Code which was later confirmed by the Chhattisgarh High Court.

While Section 228A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 prohibits disclosing the identity of victims of certain offences, it also makes disclosure of names a cognizable, bailable and non-compoundable offence which provides a punishment of up to 2 years and fine.

In addition to this, the Supreme Court in Bhupinder v. State of Himachal Pradesh has already made printing or publishing name of the victim and also the person against whom an offence under Section 376, 376-A, 376-B, 376-C and 376-D is alleged or found to have been committed, to be an offence itself.

Though earlier there was a restriction in the judgments of High Courts and Supreme Court, later it was held that no Court must disclose the identity of the victim until the victim is an adult and the disclosure if consensual.

Furthermore, a similar provision prohibiting disclosure of names and personal details of a victim of sexual offences exists under Section 23 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POSCO) Act, 2012.

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