In line with its strict orders on not naming victims of sexual assault, the Supreme Court has told the Madras High Court to redact the name of one such victim from its order.
Justices Abhay S Oka and Rajesh Bindal took exception over a Madras High Court order disclosing the name of the victim.
“We find that in the impugned judgement, the High Court incorporated the name of the victim not once but many times. We direct the High Court to redact the name and then upload the order,” the bench said.
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The apex court was hearing a plea filed by the victim alleging that the High Court erred in quashing the case against the accused on the ground that she was in a relationship with him for more than four years.
The plea said the High Court failed to appreciate that there ought to have been an opportunity for the investigating authorities to collect ample evidence and materials in support of the commission of the offence.
The Supreme Court had in 2018 held that the name and identity of victims of rape and sexual assault, including those who have died, cannot be disclosed “even in a remote manner”.
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It, however, said that nobody can have any objection to the victim disclosing her name as long as she is a major and has taken a decision regarding this voluntarily.
The apex court had said that media should be cautious not to “sensationalise” such cases. Though they have an obligation to report such matters, they are also duty bound not to disclose the identity of such victims, including minors.
(With agency inputs)