Unfortunately, in our society, the victim of a sexual offence, especially a victim of rape, is treated worse than the perpetrator of the crime. The victim is innocent. She has been subjected to
forcible sexual abuse. However, for no fault of the victim, society instead of empathizing with the victim, starts treating her as an ‘untouchable’. A victim of rape is treated like a “pariah” and
ostracised from society. Many times, even her family refuses to accept her back into their fold. The harsh reality is that many times cases of rape do not even get reported because of the false notions of so called ‘honour’ which the family of the victim wants to uphold.
Apex court issued the following directions:-
1. No person can print or publish in print, electronic,
social media, etc. the name of the victim or even in a
remote manner disclose any facts which can lead to
the victim being identified and which should make her
identity known to the public at large.
2. 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, which shall be decided by the
competent authority, which at present is the Sessions
3. FIRs relating to offences under Sections 376, 376A,
376AB, 376B, 376C, 376D, 376DA, 376DB or 376E of
IPC and offences under POCSO shall not be put in the
4. In case a victim files an appeal under Section 372
CrPC, it is not necessary for the victim to disclose
his/her identity and the appeal shall be dealt with in
the manner laid down by law.
5. The police officials should keep all the documents in
which the name of the victim is disclosed, as far as
possible, in a sealed cover and replace these
documents by identical documents in which the name
of the victim is removed in all records which may be
scrutinised in the public domain.
6. All the authorities to which the name of the victim is
disclosed by the investigating agency or the court are
also duty bound to keep the name and identity of the
victim secret and not disclose it in any manner except
in the report which should only be sent in a sealed
cover to the investigating agency or the court.
7. An application by the next of kin to authorise
disclosure of identity of a dead victim or of a victim of
unsound mind under Section 228A(2)(c) of IPC should
be made only to the Sessions Judge concerned until
the Government acts under Section 228A(1)(c) and lays
down a criteria as per our directions for identifying
such social welfare institutions or organisations.
8. In case of minor victims under POCSO, disclosure of
their identity can only be permitted by the Special
Court, if such disclosure is in the interest of the child.
9. All the States/Union Territories are requested to set up
at least one ‘one stop centre’ in every district within
one year from today like ‘ BHAROSA” in Hyd.