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ABC v Commisioner of Police

ABC v Commisioner of Police

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Published by Bar & Bench
Delhi High Court imposing 5 lakh fine on news channel for disclosing rape victim's identity
Delhi High Court imposing 5 lakh fine on news channel for disclosing rape victim's identity

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: Bar & Bench on Feb 07, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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W.P.(C.) No. 12730/2005 Page 1 of 48
IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHIJudgment reserved on: 30.01.2013% Judgment delivered on: 05.02.2013
W.P.(C.) No. 12730/2005 and C.M. Nos. 9505/2005, 13315/2005 &12222/2007
ABC ..... PetitionerThrough: Ms. Jayshree Satpute, Advocate.versusCOMMISSIONER OF POLICE & ORS. ..... RespondentsThrough: Mr. Anjum Javed, Advocate alongwith S.I. in person, for respondentNo. 1.Mr. A.J. Bhambhani & Mr. Apurv,Advocates for respondent No. 2.Mr. S. D. Salwan, Advocate forrespondent No.3.
The present writ petition has been preferred under Article 226 of theConstitution of India by the petitioner herein on behalf of her daughter(minor at the time of filing of the present petition) as her mother and nextfriend, alleging violation of the right to privacy and confidentiality of herdaughter under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, and other legal rightsand seeking appropriate relief in respect thereof.
W.P.(C.) No. 12730/2005 Page 2 of 48
The cause of action giving rise to the present petition relates to the
alleged disclosure of First Information Report (FIR) of the petitioner‟s
daughter, alleging a case of sexual abuse against her own father, byRespondent No. 1 herein to other respondents herein viz. respondent No.2 -Hindustan Times House, and respondent No.3 - Aaj Tak, and consequentpublicity of the same by the latter.3.
Keeping in view the gravity and nature of allegations and also thesocial object of preventing societal victimisation, ostracism andembarrassment of the victim of alleged sexual abuse, as taken note of by theSupreme Court in
State of Karnataka v. Puttaraja,
(2004) 1 SCC 475, Ihave directed the registry not to mention the name of the petitioner and herdaughter in the cause title of the present petition, and also propose to notmention the same in the judgment. The name of the petitioner and herdaughter occurring in the petition and the documents filed with it have beenobliterated while preserving copies/originals of the same.
Petitioner’s Submissions
It is the petitioner‟s case that an FIR was registered by her daughter 
alleging a case of sexual abuse against her father in the concerned PoliceStation on 02.08.2005. It is alleged that the contents of the said FIR wereleaked by respondent no. 1, as the same came to be- quoted and published inthe newspaper article dated 04.08.2005 of respondent no. 2, and alsoreported & aired by respondent no. 3 in its television programme on07.08.2005.
W.P.(C.) No. 12730/2005 Page 3 of 48
It is alleged that the newspaper article dated 04.08.2005 of respondentno. 2 reveals
the age of the petitioner‟s daughter, the locality in which she
resides, the class in which she studies and the occupation of her father. It isalleged that the said article extensively quotes not only the contents of theFIR but also the statement of the police officer concerned with the saidcomplaint.6.
As regards respondent no. 3, it is alleged that the crew members of respondent no. 3 approached the petitioner and her daughter at their homeand attempted to interview them in a deceptive manner against their will. Itis alleged that thereafter, respondent no. 3 aired a programme on itstelevision channel on 07.08.2005, telecasting the said intrusion and givingwide publicity to the incident- by revealing the name, designation, and officeof the accused father; by showing several images of the colony in which thePetitioner and her family were residing along with the
 petitioner‟s doorstep;
and by airing the recorded voice of the Petitioner refusing entry to crewmembers of respondent no. 3.7.
Ms. Satpute, learned counsel for the petitioner, submits that publicityof such minute details was sufficient for the identity of thevictim/prosecutrix to be revealed. Respondents having done so, withoutobtaining the consent/authorisation from the petitioner, have violated theprovisions of Section 228A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (hereinafter
referred to as the „IPC‟); the „Norms of Journalistic conduct‟
laid down bythe Press Council of India (PCI), governing respondent no. 2 & 3; and aboveall the right of the minor victim of alleged sexual abuse to privacy andconfidentiality enshrined in the right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of 

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