The Delhi High Court in the case Yashdeep Chahal v. UOI & Ors observed and has Senior Advocate Rebecca John as amicus curiae in a PIL seeking action against certain media houses for revealing the identity of the victim and the accused persons of the Hyderabad in the rape case.
The division bench comprising of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad observed and has directed that the order be communicated to John along with complete set of documents within four weeks.
The court stated while posting the matter for hearing on January 12, 2023 that the matter is to be heard on merits, and, therefore, to assist this Court Ms. Rebecca M. John, Senior Advocate is appointed as Amicus Curiae in the matter.
The Court observed that the notice was issued in December 2019 in the PIL moved by one Yashdeep Chahal, which argued that exposure of names, pictures, addresses, work details etc of the accused persons and the victim violates section 228A of IPC and the law laid down by the Supreme Court in the Nipun Saxena case.
Further, the Court had had issued notice to the Centre, Delhi Government, Telangana Government, Press Council of India, Facebook India, Twitter, News Broadcasting Standards Authority of India, OpIndia.com, New Indian Express and India Today.
Thus, the petition sought directions to initiate appropriate proceedings against the media houses and individuals in accordance with law and also to direct the investigation authorities to prevent the supply of information about the merits of the case to the public or media, prior to the completion of the investigation
In the case Nipun Saxena, the Apex Court had directed that no person can print or publish in print, electronic, social media, etc. the name of the victim or even in a remote manner and disclose of any facts which can be led to the victim being identified and which should make her identity known to the public at large.
Adding to it, the Top Court stated that in cases where the victim is dead or of unsound mind the name of the victim or her identity should not be disclosed even under the authorization of the next of the kin, unless circumstances justifying the disclosure of her identity exist and the same shall be decided by the competent authority, which at present is the Sessions Judge.