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Dalit girl rape: HC asks Twitter to respond to plea for FIR against Rahul Gandhi for disclosing identity

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh refused to issue notice to Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Police on the public interest litigation (PIL) and said it was only issuing notice to Twitter.

By: PTI | New Delhi |
October 5, 2021 1:37:10 pm
Senior advocate R S Cheema and lawyer Tarannum Cheema appeared for Rahul Gandhi. (File)

The Delhi High Court Tuesday sought Twitter’s reply on a plea seeking registration of FIR against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for allegedly revealing the identity of a 9-year-old Dalit girl who was allegedly raped and murdered in southwest Delhi, by publishing a photograph with her parents on social media.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh refused to issue notice to Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Police on the public interest litigation (PIL) and said it was only issuing notice to Twitter.

“We are making it explicitly clear that we are not issuing notice to other respondents. Notice is being issued only to respondent no. 4 (Twitter),” the bench said and listed the matter for further hearing on November 30.

Senior advocate Sajan Poovayya, representing Twitter, told the court that Gandhi’s account was suspended and the tweet in question has been removed as it was found to be in violation of the platform’s own policy.

Senior advocate R S Cheema and lawyer Tarannum Cheema appeared for Rahul Gandhi.

Petitioner Makarand Suresh Mhadlekar, a social activist, has alleged in the petition that by posting the photograph with the parents of the child victim, Gandhi violated the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, which prohibit the disclosure of identity of minor victims of sexual offences.

Mhadlekar, represented through advocate Gautam Jha, alleged that Gandhi was “attempting to take political mileage out of the unfortunate incident”.

The plea also sought initiation of appropriate legal action against Gandhi by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights.

The minor Dalit girl died under suspicious circumstances on August 1 even as her parents alleged that she was raped, murdered and cremated by a crematorium’s priest in southwest Delhi’s Old Nangal village.

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