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Delhi HC seeks child rights body's response on PIL against Rahul Gandhi
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday sought a response from the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) on a plea filed against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in connection with his tweet revealing the identity of the relatives of a minor who was raped and murdered in 2021.
The Bench of Justice Satish Chander Sharma and Justice Sachin Datta on Friday listed the matter for July 27, after issuing notice to the NCPCR. Earlier NCPCR counsel submitted that it wants to support and joint hand with the petitioner in the matter. The lawyer had requested the court to issue a notice in the matter so that it can file an affidavit "as we believe that the offence survives."
The Delhi HC is presently examining a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking directions to Twitter and the Delhi Police to take action against Rahul Gandhi's tweet allegedly revealing the identity of the relatives of a rape and murder victim.
The predecessor bench had earlier issued notice to Twitter only made "explicitly clear" that no notice is being issued to other respondents.
Senior Advocate Sajan Poovayya earlier appeared for Twitter had informed the Court that "nothing survived" in the petition as the tweet in question was taken down.
Earlier Twitter counsel had submitted that Rahul Gandhi's tweet violated its policy also, we have already removed that tweet and his Twitter account was also blocked for some time.
The bench had also refused to issue notice to Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Police on the public interest litigation (PIL) at this stage.
The petitioner Makarand Suresh Mhadlekar claimed to be a social activist had approached Delhi HC seeking its intervention for appropriate legal action against Rahul Gandhi for allegedly disclosing sensitive information about a rape victim and her family members by publishing a photograph of her parents on his Twitter handle.
The Petitioner stated that Rahul Gandhi has violated Section 74 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, and section 23(2) of the POCSO Act, 2012, both of which mandate that the identity of a child victim of a crime shall not be disclosed.
The law in this regard is very well-settled in a catena of judgments including in the case of Nipun Saxena vs Union Of India wherein it was held by the Supreme Court of India, that the name, address, school or other particulars which may lead to the identification of the child in conflict with law/victim cannot be disclosed in the media. No picture of such a child, or any such particular which can directly or indirectly disclose her identity, can be published.
A child who is not in conflict with the law but is a victim of an offence, especially a sexual offense needs this protection even more, plea read.
In August 2021, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi met the family of the minor girl who was allegedly raped, murdered, and cremated without her parent's consent in Delhi's Old Nangal crematorium. After meeting with the family, he assured his support to the family. Rahul Gandhi also tweeted about his meeting and shared a picture of him with the victim's parents on Twitter. (ANI)