The Supreme Court on Monday asked media regulatory bodies why they had not initiated action against any publication for disclosing the identity of victims of sexual offences. A bench of Justices M B Lokur and Deepak Gupta sought answers on this from the News Broadcasting Standards Association (NBSA), Press Council of India (PCI), Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) and Editors Guild of India.
Conveying its dissatisfaction with the regulatory bodies on its treatment of the media, the bench said “this is like a velvet fish in a velvet glove. it’s of no use”. The court directed them to file an affidavit in three weeks, stating whether they were willing to file criminal complaints against media organisations once an alleged violation was brought to their notice.
The NBSA counsel submitted that the body deals with complaints in a robust manner. But the court countered this: “NBSA has done nothing and you do not want to prosecute anyone, even when a lady has been raped and her identity has been disclosed. Is it for the complainant to prosecute?”