Judges should not disclose the victim’s names in judgments in sexual assault cases: Delhi HC [Read Judgment]

Judges should not disclose the victim’s names in judgments in sexual assault cases: Delhi HC [Read Judgment]

The High Court of Delhi on Wednesday rapped the lower Court Judges for having disclosed the name of the victim of sexual assault in the judgments passed by them.

“Before parting with the case, it is noted that in the impugned judgment dated 21.10.2013 name of the prosecutrix / victim has been disclosed / mentioned. The Trial Court was not expected to indicate the victim’s name in the judgment… Learned Presiding Officers must avoid disclosing identity of the victim / prosecutrix in such cases in the judgment to protect her reputation,” Justice S.P. Garg observed.

The Court was hearing a revision petition filed by Mr. Gopal Yadav, challenging the legality and correctness of a judgment passed by the District and Sessions Judge in July, 2014, wherein his conviction for outraging the modesty of a seven year old girl, as recorded by the Metropolitan Magistrate was upheld.

During the course of arguments, the petitioner’s counsel had prayed to show leniency as the petitioner is aged around 70 years and has remained in custody for sufficient duration.

The Court however noted the sufficiency of evidence on record, and the consistency of the victim during cross-examination. “The concurrent findings of the Courts below based upon fair and proper appreciation of the evidence deserve no intervention,” it therefore ruled.

Further, the Court refused to show leniency to the petitioner, taking into consideration the gravity of the offence, “whereby an innocent child aged around seven years was sexually assaulted by the petitioner, a grown-up man, aged around 65 years.”

Read the Judgment here.