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Indira Jaising as amicus to SC over clarification re media revealing name of deceased rape victims

Even the dead have dignity: Supreme Court on revealing the name of rape victims

The Supreme Court said that even in cases where the rape victims were alive and were either minors or of unsound mind, their identities should not be revealed as they have the right to privacy and they cannot live under such a “stigma” throughout their life. Last week, the Delhi High Court had directed 12 media houses to pay a compensation of Rs 10 lakh each for revealing the identity of the Kathua rape victim. The media houses had apologised in the high court for revealing the details of the victim.

New Delhi: Even the dead have dignity. They cannot be “named or shamed.” This was the observation of the Supreme Court on Tuesday as it dealt with the issue of disclosure of identity of rape victims, including the eight-year-old girl who was raped and brutally murdered recently in Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir. It said that even in cases where the rape victims were alive and were either minors or of unsound mind, their identities should not be revealed as they have the right to privacy and they cannot live under such a “stigma” throughout their life.

“Think of the dignity of dead also. It (media reporting) can be done without naming or shaming them. The dead also have dignity,” a bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said while hearing the matter in which senior lawyer Indira Jaising raked up the issue of section 228-A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) which deals with disclosure of identity of victims of sexual offences. The bench, which agreed to examine the aspect related to section 228-A of the IPC, also questioned as to how the identity of a minor rape victim could be disclosed even after getting consent from her parents.

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