New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued notices while acting on a petition seeking appropriate proceedings against media houses as well as individuals who exposed the identity of the gang-rape and brutal murder of the veterinarian at Shadnagar near Hyderabad on November 27.

The court was acting on a Public Interest Litigation(PIL) moved by Advocate Yashdeep Chahal. The high court posted the next hearing on the petition on December 16.

In the petition, Chahal sought to issue fresh composite directions to prevent the exposure of the victim’s identity on social media platforms, either directly or indirectly and regarding the extent of blurring required in publishing pictures of the victim and to ensure awareness regarding their due compliance.

Notices were issued to Government of Indian, Government of Delhi, Press Council of India, News Broadcasting Standards Authority of India, various media houses and social media giants like Facebook and Twitter, among others.

The petition was based on Section 228A of the Indian Penal Code, which clearly prohibits publication of the identity of the victim of sexual offences in any manner whatsoever without the consent of the victim. Chahal has highlighted how several news reports broadcast on television channels, published in newspapers have “elaborately disclosed” the identity of the victim, including her name, picture, occupation, residence, call details and other private information.

He told the Court that such violations were happening in every corner of the country right under the nose of the police authorities and yet no action is being taken against the offenders. As such he sought directions to prohibit publishing pictures of the accused before the trial has begun

In the PIL, Chahal also sought a direction to the investigating officials “to conduct themselves in a restricted manner so as to prevent the supply of information in the merits of the case to the media and the common public.”

It may be noted that an advocate has also filed a PIL in the high court of Telangana seeking directions to social media giants to remove content related to the victim, the accused and other abusive contents that are widely circulated over social media.

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