The Hush Post: The Delhi High Court ordered a dozen media houses to cough up Rs 10 lakh each for violating norms and showing pictures which revealed the identity of the eight-year-old girl, a gang-rape and murder victim in Kathua, Jammu and Kashmir.
Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar issued the orders. The media houses have been asked to deposit money with the court’s Registrar-General.
Following newspapers have been asked to deposit the money: The Times of India, The Hindu, The Statesman, The Pioneer, Navbharat Times, NDTV, Firstpost, The Week, Republic TV, The Deccan Chronicle, India TV and The Indian Express.
No lawyer appeared on behalf of The Pioneer, Firstpost and The Deccan Chronicle.
As per the practice the money would be transferred to Jammu and Kashmir State Legal Service Authority’s Compensation Fund for the betterment of survivors of sexual violence.
The court gave the order following an apology by the lawyers of the media houses and said that ignorance was to be blamed for the violation.
They maintained that the identity was revealed under the guise that it would speed up the prosecution.
The court deleted the name of The Indian Express from the parties and substituted it with ‘IE Online Media Services Private Ltd’.
Earlier, the judges said they would like to see the editors of the media houses. The lawyers apologised and said that they will ensure that the law is followed and privacy of a rape victim would be maintained in future. The court will hear the matter on April 25 now.