The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to entertain a plea questioning the publication of a photograph of the Hathras victim in the media, saying the court cannot legislate on it and the petitioner can make a representation on the matter to the government.
A 19-year-old Dalit woman was allegedly gang-raped by four men in Hathras on September 14. She died on September 29 at Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital during treatment. Her cremation at night by the authorities, allegedly without the consent of her parents, triggered widespread outrage.
The plea, which also raised the issue of delays in the trial of cases of sexual violence, came up for hearing before a bench headed by Justice N V Ramana.
“These issues have nothing to do with law,” said the bench, also comprising Justices Surya Kant and Aniruddha Bose.
“Right to freedom of expression is there. There is enough law for this. It is unfortunate that such incidents happen,” the bench observed.
The apex court further said, “We cannot legislate law after law”
It said the petitioner can make a representation to the government.
On October 27, the top court had said the CBI investigation in the Hathras case is to be monitored by the Allahabad High Court and the CRPF would provide security to the victim’s family and witnesses in the case.
The apex court had delivered the verdict in October on a batch of pleas raising concerns on the incident and also the manner in which the teen was cremated.