NEW DELHI: The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has told the Delhi High Court that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi posting picture of himself along with Delhi rape victim’s parents on social media is a serious offfence and said that action is also needed to be taken against Twitter for just withholding the post instead of removing it.

Responding to a petition seeking direction to the police and the Commission to take action against Gandhi for sharing his picture with parents of a Dalit minor who was allegedly raped and killed near Delhi Cantonment in 2021, the commission said that revealing identity of rape victim and family members is a serious offence and as it is violative of provisions of the (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) POCSO Act and Juvenile Justice Care and Protection of Children Act.
“It is humbly submitted that keeping in view of the serious offence committed by Rahul Gandhi, NCPCR exercising its powers under Section 13(1)(j) of the Commission for the Protection of Child Rights Act and being the monitoring authority u/s Section 109 of the Juvenile Justice Act and Section 44 of the POCSO Act had forwarded the complaint to Delhi Police and Twitter Inc. for removal of post and taking necessary action against the twitter handle of Rahul Gandhi,” the affidavit, filed through advocate Swarupama Chaturvedi, said.

Referring to various orders passed by courts which came down heavily against media houses and individuals for revealing the identity if rape victim/survivor, the affidavit said that Delhi High Court had taked suo motu cognisance in the gang rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl child in Kathua in Jammu & Kashmir, which made national headlines. It said as many as 23 media houses, who appeared to be culpable in this regard, were impleaded as parties and directed them to deposit an amount of Rs 10 lakh each to be used, in part, for the welfare of the family of the rape victim.
The commission said that the post of Gandhi could be accessed from other countries as it was nor removed and was withheld only from the Indian internet domain and
“It is further respectfully submitted before this Court that for the respondent no.4 (Twitter Inc) to fully give effect to its obligations, the impugned post was ought to be removed from its platform and not be hidden only from the Indian internet domain. The object is to conceal the identity of the minor girl child and hence merely hiding the post in question from Indian domain shall not suffice the purpose of hiding the identity of the victim. True meaning and effect has to be given in letter and spirit to Right to Privacy and Right to dignity as guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution,” it said.

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