New Delhi:Name and identity of victims of rape and sexual assault, including those who have died, cannot be disclosed “even in a remote manner”, the Supreme Court said on Tuesday while terming as unfortunate that instead of empathising with the victims, society treats them as “untouchable”.
The court also 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 said that media should be cautious not to “sensationalise” such cases and though they have an obligation to report such matters, they are also “duty bound” not to disclose the identity of such victims, including minors.
A bench of justices Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta directed that FIRs lodged for the offence of rape shall not be put in public domain.
“No person can print or publish in print, electronic, social media, etc the name of the victim or even in a remote manner disclose any facts which can lead to the victim being identified and which should make her identity known to the public at large,” the bench said in its judgement.
The SC said that in the society, an “innocent” victim of sexual offence, esp-ecially rape, was unfortunately treated worse than the perpetrator of crime and “for no fault of the victim, society instead of empathizing with the victim, starts treating her as an ‘untouchable’”. “A victim of rape is treated like a ‘pariah’, the SC said....