In disregard of an express prohibition in the recent Supreme Court judgment examining the abortion plea of a 35-year-old HIV-positive rape survivor, the Supreme Court website still displays the survivor’s name.
While the judgment does conceal her identity, the survivor’s name nevertheless appears in the search results for recent judgments.
This is despite the fact that in the judgment, a Bench comprising Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Amitava Roy and Justice A.M. Khanwilkar had expressly prohibited such disclosure, observing, “…it is directed that name of the appellant in the cause title be substituted with Ms. Z so that her identity is not revealed; the Registry of the Court shall substitute the name of the appellant with Ms. Z in all records, including on the official website of this Court, and the Registry of the High Court of Patna shall substitute the name of the appellant with Ms. Z in all records, including the official website of the High Court. Leave is granted to the appellant to seek substitution of her name with Ms. Z on all search engines such as google.com, legal websites such as indiakanoon.org as well as legal journals. Interlocutory application is accordingly allowed.”
The order was issued pursuant to an Interlocutory Application seeking concealment of the survivor’s identity.
The Court had, on Thursday, also rapped Patna High Court and the Government hospital for having contributed to the delay in considering her plea for abortion, and had directed the State to pay her Rs. 10 lakh as compensation.