06 Oct 2020: Swara, Malviya, Digvijaya served notices for revealing Hathras victim's identity
The National Commission for Women (NCW) has served notices to BJP's social media cell head Amit Malviya, actor Swara Bhasker, and Congress leader Digvijaya Singh for allegedly revealing the identity of Hathras gang-rape victim.
Besides asking them to provide an explanation, the body directed the aforementioned personalities to remove the posts and be careful in the future.
Here are more details.
Context: Backstory: Dragged by dupatta and raped, 19-year-old succumbed to injuries
India was outraged after a 19-year-old Dalit woman was gang-raped and assaulted in Uttar Pradesh, by four men of the upper-caste. Dragged by her dupatta, the woman suffered spinal cord injuries and passed away on September 29.
Subsequently, an agitation demanding justice for her rocked the country.
Today, the Supreme Court asked the UP government for an update on witnesses' protection.
Clip: Malviya tweeted a video that showed victim's face clearly
On Friday, Malviya, who has been blaming media for biased coverage, tweeted a 48-second video, writing, "Hathras victim's interaction with a reporter outside AMU where she claimed there was an attempt to strangulate her neck."
He added though the crime was heinous, it was "unfair to color it and demean the gravity of one heinous crime against another."
In the clip, the victim's face was clearly visible.
Order: Disclosing victim's identity is a punishable offense, reminded NCW
In separate notices, NCW underlined that as per Supreme Court, just revealing the victim's name doesn't qualify as disclosing identity under IPC Section 228 A (2).
The body explained that SC's directive means "identity of the victim should not be discernible from any matter published in the media."
To note, those revealing identities of sexual assault victims could be imprisoned for up to two years.
Fact: NCW sought a satisfactory explanation from the trio
"You are hereby required to provide a satisfactory explanation to the Commission on receipt of this notice and shall remove and refrain from transmission of such pictures/ videos on the social media as they are widely circulated by your followers, (sic)" NCW said.
Fact: The tweet can be read here
Statement: Earlier, chief said NCW takes such offenses seriously
Earlier, speaking to IE, NCW Chief Rekha Sharma reminded that courts have barred everyone from revealing the identity of sexual assault victims.
"When we send statements, we are also very careful to never reveal the identity of a rape victim," she had said.
About Malviya's video, she commented, "The incident of tweeting the video is really very unfortunate and is also absolutely illegal."