Both Print and Electronic Media Have to Follow Section 228A of IPC The Supreme Court of India (SC) has ruled that both print and electronic media must abide by the provisions of Section 228A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising of Justices Ashok Bhushan, Subhash Reddy, and MR Shah, while pronouncing a judgment remarked that "A rape victim...
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Both Print and Electronic Media Have to Follow Section 228A of IPC
The Supreme Court of India (SC) has ruled that both print and electronic media must abide by the provisions of Section 228A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC)
A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising of Justices Ashok Bhushan, Subhash Reddy, and MR Shah, while pronouncing a judgment remarked that "A rape victim suffers not only a mental trauma but also discrimination from the society." The bench stated that all including the media must comply with the provision of Section 228A of the IPC. The SC stated this while deciding the case of Ms. X (Petitioner) v. The State of Jharkhand & Ors.(Respondent).
The facts of the case are that the Writ Petition was filed by a Scheduled Tribe rape victim under Article 32 of the Constitution, who was abducted and married off at a young age, later she divorced the man. The victim was raped and her assailant was prosecuted under Section 3 (xi) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (Act).
The petitioner submitted before the SC that the Police officers had revealed her identity as a rape victim to the press. Hence, a Writ Petition was filed before the SC against the media channels for disclosing her identity.
It was further mentioned that as her identity was disclosed she was denied accommodation at a rental that she had approached. She sought directions and relief measures so that she could take care of her children who are dependent on her.
She further submitted that she has three children and she has no means of survival, she cannot even give education to her children. The administration, media, and society have compelled the petitioner to lead a life with no security, no job, and no shelter in the future.
The Counsel appearing for the State submitted that the petitioner has lodged various FIRs alleging rape against several persons. That she also lodged an FIR for the commission of the offenses under Section 25(1-b)a of the Arms Act. Since 2 October 2019, an armed Lady Constable, has been deputed with the writ petitioner for her security.
The Counsel further mentioned that the State has taken care of and provided necessary security arrangements to the petitioner and other security personnel also has been deputed with the petitioner.
The SC stated that it cannot be denied that the petitioner is a rape victim. Even if the Court does not consider the other criminal cases filed by the petitioner under Section 376 IPC, it has to consider that the petitioner being a rape victim deserves treatment as a rape victim by all the authorities. That the Trial Court has convicted the accused and it is sufficient enough to consider a woman victim of the heinous offense of rape.
While referring to the judgment passed in the case of Nipun Saxena v. Union of India where it was observed that, "A victim of rape will face hostile discrimination and social ostracisation in Society. Such victims will find it difficult to get a job, will find it difficult to get married, and will also find it difficult to get integrated in to the society like a normal human being."
The SC stated that the law with regard to Section 228A is well established and all including the media, both print and electronic have to follow the law. Section 228-A of the IPC talks about the 'disclosure of the identity of the victim of certain offenses' and punishment attached to violating the same.
The SC gave directions to the Deputy Commissioner of Ranchi to take necessary measures ensuring that minor children of the petitioner are provided free education in the government institutions in Ranchi, till they attain the age of 14 years.
The authorities were further asked to consider the case of the petitioner for providing housing under Prime Minister Awas Yojna or any other Central or State Scheme.
The Senior Superintendent of Police, Ranchi, and other competent authorities have been directed to review the police security provided to the petitioner from time to time.