Libertatem Magazine

“Rape Victim To Be Provided Shelter Due To Media Attention Prohibited Under Section 228A of the IPC”: Supreme Court

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This case concerns the petition by a rape victim for rehabilitation as she was social ostracization. 

Brief facts of the case

In this case, a writ petition had been filed by a rape victim (the name was not disclosed) invoking jurisdiction under Article 32 of the Constitution. In this petition, the petitioner’s case is that she is the rape victim, whose identity was disclosed by the media and after knowing that she was a rape victim nobody was ready to give her accommodation on rent. She invoked the jurisdiction of this Court in the matter of rehabilitation of the petitioner. 

She also prayed for the directions to the respondent, State of Jharkhand to protect the petitioner and her children’s life. The petitioner after divorcing her first husband got married to one Rajesh Kujur with who she had a son and from her first husband she had a son and a daughter.  

The petitioner initiated 7 criminal cases, one of which is against the Mohd. Ali, who raped her and was convicted under Section 376(2)(g) IPC and Section 3(1)(xii) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Act, 1989. In other criminal cases, the accused were either acquitted or trial is pending in some cases. 

Appellant’s argument

The petitioner was a rape victim who did not get any kind of help from her friends, family, or society. She, with her three children, had means of survival and she was not able to give education to her children. The administration, media, and society had compelled her to lead a life with no security, no job, and no shelter. 

Respondent’s argument

It was submitted that the petitioner had lodged FIR against several persons. FIR was lodged against the petitioner for the commission of offenses under Section(1-b) an of Arms Act, in which charge sheet was also filed. 

An armed Lady Constable was deputed with the writ petitioner for her security. The State had taken care of making security arrangements of the petitioner and in pursuance of the order dated 06.01.2020 another security personnel had been deputed with the writ petitioner. 

The Police authority may be permitted to review the security from time to time to take appropriate measures in that regard. The petitioner is in a habit of making false allegations against several persons and officers. A complaint had been recently submitted making allegations of offences under Section 376 IPC. 

Observation by the court

The Court observed that the petitioner was a rape victim, even if other criminal cases filed by the petitioner were not taken into consideration. A rape victim suffers not only mental trauma but also discrimination from society. In the judgment of the Supreme Court, in Nipun Saxena and another vs. Union of India and others, it was observed that the victim of rape will face hostile discrimination and social ostracization in society. Such victims will find it difficult to get a job, get married, and get integrated into society like a normal human being. 

In the case of Padma @ Shushma Badaik vs. The State of Jharkhand and others, the state was ready to provide free education to the children of the writ petitioner. The petitioner had two sons and one daughter. the eldest son, Manish Yadav, born in 1998 was major but her two children were still minor. The Deputy Commissioner shall take appropriate steps to ensure that the minor children are provided free education. 

The petitioner’s identity was disclosed by the media, however, disclosure of the identity of the victim is an offence under Section 228-A of the Indian Penal Code, inserted by Amendment Act 43 of 1983 with effect from 25.12.1983. 

In Nipun Saxena and Another, the Court issued directions that No person can print or publish in print, electronic, social media, etc. the name of the victim or even in a remote manner disclose any facts which can lead to the victim being identified. 

The case of the petitioner will be considered by the Deputy Commissioner, Ranchi for allotment of any housing accommodation under Prime Minister Awas Yojana or any other scheme of the Center or the State. These schemes are for providing accommodation to persons living below the poverty line or other deserving causes. 

The decision of the court

The writ petition was disposed of with the direction to appropriate authorities, to take care of the education of children, the security of petitioner and her children, providing legal services and accommodation to the petitioner.

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