Kathua gang rape: Delhi HC orders media fines to be deposited in J&K legal aid

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed its Registrar General to transfer the sum paid by media houses as fined for disclosing the Kathua rape case victim’s name to the Victim Compensation Fund maintained by Jammu & Kashmir State Legal Services Authority.

The amount is for donating the victims or family of deceased victims of sexual violence.

A division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad said: “The Registrar General of this court is directed to transmit the amounts so deposited by respondents no.8, 28 (two media houses) and by other respondents (media houses) in the present case, if any such amount is still lying with the court, to the Victim Compensation Fund maintained by the Jammu and Kashmir State Legal Services Authority for disbursement of funds to the victims/families of the deceased victims of sexual violence.”

In the 2018 brutal gangrape was followed by the victim’s murder, the High Court in the same year took by itself the decision against media houses for their reports disclosing the victim’s name, violating Sections 23 and 228A of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.

“The manner of reporting of the incident is also against the public justice,” said the bench.

The court had issued notices to over 15 media houses and directed them to deposit Rs 10 lakh each.

With time, more media organisations were asked to pay the compensation.

Earlier, the court had called the media houses’ move of displaying the photograph of the victim “unfortunate” and “extremely distressing”.

The incident dates back to January 10, 2018, when the eight-year-old had disappeared from near her home in a village near Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir. A week later, her body was found in the same area. (IANS)

Related Articles