BJP’s Lekhi denies disclosing victim’s name in her reply to NCW

The BJP spokesperson suggested “extraneous” considerations guiding NCW’s prompt notice to her.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: December 2, 2013 3:18:16 am

Claiming that the identity of the victim of alleged sexual assault by Tehelka founder Tarun Tejpal was in public domain “even before the tweet”,BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi,in reply to a National Commission for Women (NCW) notice,said she had not disclosed the victim’s identity in the tweet.

“I have not disclosed the name or identity of the victim. No disclosure can be attributed to me as what has been ‘printed and published’ cannot be imputed to me,” Lekhi asserted in her reply to a NCW notice and claimed,“May I mention the fact that the identity of the victim was in public domain even before the tweet and no action was taken by NCW with regard to the same”.

Lekhi asserted,“The tweet does not make known or lay bare or even remove from secrecy or ignorance the person to protect whose interest you intervened to satisfy the requirement of ‘disclosure’ mandated by the ‘section’ to argue that ‘no person of average intelligence and ordinary understanding can conceivably identify the individual from the tweet’.

Lekhi gave this explanation after the Commission issued notice seeking her reply for disclosure of identity of the victim of sexual assault through a twitter post.

The BJP spokesperson suggested “extraneous” considerations guiding NCW’s prompt notice to her and said senior Congress leaders like Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi — they had courted controversy for naming sexual assault victims — were not sent notices from the NCW.

She also cited the example of Alka Lamba for naming a molestation victim. “I do not for a moment suggest that action be not taken where warranted but I feel failure to take action in every case where action is warranted gives reason to believe the decision to act or not is being guided by considerations extraneous to the purpose for which the Act is enacted and the Commission is constituted. I only mention the cases of Shinde and that of Alka Lamba and Tarun Gogoi where,in clearer and graver circumstances,no action whatsoever was taken,” Lekhi has written.

“The very circumstances of the case suggest law has been invoked to malign me and create a controversy without regard to the victim whose interest is sought to be protected,” Lekhi stated.

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