Delhi HC directs media houses to pay 10 lakh each as penalty for disclosing Kathua victim’s identity

The Delhi High Court today, directed various media houses to deposit Rs. 10 lakh each, as penalty for disclosing the name and other details of the Kathua gangrape victim.

The Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar had taken suo moto cognizance of the matter and had lambasted the news networks for not following the stated norms with regard to coverage of such incidents.

The Court had recorded the names of various networks and publications who were held guilty of the disclosing the identity of the victim. These included India TV, The Times of India, NDTV, Republic TV, Indian Express, The Hindu etc.

The Court had also put a prohibition on the media from disclosing the identity of the victim in the future and had appointed Senior Advocate Arvind Nigam as the amicus curiae.

Standing Counsel Monika Arora appeared on behalf of the Central Government.

During the hearing today, the Bench was initially of the opinion that a penalty of Rs. 25 lakh be imposed on the media houses. However, after hearing the plea of certain publications and networks regarding financial constraints, the Court reduced the amount to 10 lakh.

The amount shall be transferred to the Victim Compensation Fund maintained by the Jammu and Kashmir State Legal Services Authority for disbursement to victims/ families of the deceased victims of sexual violence.

The matter will next be heard on April 25.

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