Do not reveal the identity of rape victim in chargesheets: High Court
Complete failure to comply with all these directions can lead to action for an offense under Section 228-A of IPC.
Nagpur: Expressing concern over the blatant handling of photographs of rape victims and their names being mentioned in charge sheets, The Aurangabad Bench of the Bombay High Court has ordered the police not to reveal the identity of such victims at all and submit their photographs in sealed covers from now on.
“We direct all concerned agencies, who are probing such crimes, that photographs of such victims should be filed in a sealed cover before the concerned courts.” Complete failure to comply with all these directions can lead to action for an offense under Section 228-A of IPC.
These instructions are also for the concerned courts where the charge sheet is accepted. They should also see that such photographs are submitted in a completely sealed envelope and with the identification of the victim
The bench of Justices Vibha Kankanwadi and Abhay Waghwase, citing the decisions of the Supreme Court, has also said that it has been emphasized that in cases like IPC 376 and other sections and POCSO Act, the identity of the victim should not be disclosed at all.
Pointing out that section 228-A had been inserted
“We are constrained to make these observations as we are facing such incidents time and again. When it is found that the accused facing charges under these sections want to rely on certain photographs in which the victim is visible, the same are openly placed or annexed to the petition. The Principal Seat (at Mumbai) has directed that they should be filed in a sealed cover.”
Pointing out that section 228-A had been inserted in the IPC with effect from the date of 25th December 1983, Judges have also said that it prohibits the disclosure of the identity of the victim of certain crimes. These instructions have come during the hearing on the bail plea of farmer Sajjan Gusinge under the Atrocities Act.
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