FOLLOWING GROSS violations by media outlets of rules that prohibit identification of a minor victim, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) issued a notice on Thursday warning media houses that the offence is punishable with imprisonment of up to six months and/or a fine of up to Rs 2 lakh under the JJ Act 2015.
The notice issued by the Commission on Thursday states, “NCPCR cautions media organisations against disclosing the identity of rape victim or sexually-abused children. It has come to the notice of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) that a section of the media, including some TV channels, has shown/is showing the pictures of the eight-year-old minor girl who was raped and murdered in… Kathua district.”
The notice adds that publication of photographs of rape victims or sexually-abused children is prohibited under section 74 (1) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.
Just last month the NCPCR had clarified that 74 (1) of the JJ Act 2015 applies to even deceased minors. Section 74 (1) reads, “No report… shall disclose” any particulars of a child that may identify “a child in need of care and protection or a child victim ….nor shall the picture of any such child be published”.
“We issued a public clarification on March 8,” NCPCR chairperson Stuti Kacker said, adding that the commission thought it necessary to issue another notice on April 12 after it came to its notice that most media outlets disregarded the norms. “We must respect the dead… NDTV at least blacked out the eyes of the Kathua victim but most other channels showed the full face,” she said,