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Deceased Wife's Picture Circulated As Hathras Rape Victim: Delhi High Court Calls For Details On Uploader On Husband's Plea

Sparsh Upadhyay
19 April 2021 4:26 AM GMT
Deceased Wifes Picture Circulated As Hathras Rape Victim: Delhi High Court Calls For Details On Uploader On Husbands Plea
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The Delhi High Court last week sought the responses of the Centre, Facebook, Google, and Twitter on a petition seeking details of those who uploaded the photo of petitioner's wife wrongly claiming it to be the photograph of the Hathras rape victim. The Bench of Justice Prathiba M. Singh issued notices to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technologies and the...

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The Delhi High Court last week sought the responses of the Centre, Facebook, Google, and Twitter on a petition seeking details of those who uploaded the photo of petitioner's wife wrongly claiming it to be the photograph of the Hathras rape victim.

The Bench of Justice Prathiba M. Singh issued notices to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technologies and the aforesaid social media platforms and sought for their responses in sealed over.

An application was moved by the Petitioner seeking complete details of the originator of the offending material, and so, the Court directed that notice be issued to the respondents.

The Court directed them (respondents) to file their replies, in response to the application filed by the petitioner within two weeks.

Further, in the meantime, the Basic Subscriber Information (BSI) of the person who had uploaded the videos, has been directed to be produced before the Court in a sealed cover, before the next date of hearing.

The Case before the Court

It is the case of the petitioner that the photograph of his deceased wife was being circulated on various social media platforms wrongly depicting her as the victim of the unfortunate incident of rape and murder of a young girl at Hathras, Uttar Pradesh.

It was argued by the counsel for the petitioner that even otherwise, the revelation of the identity of the rape victim was an offence under the Indian Penal Code, though in the present matter image of a wrong person is in circulation.

Importantly, in January 2021, Google, Facebook, and Twitter had informed the court that they had blocked/taken down all links which incorrectly showed the deceased woman's photo as that of the Hathras rape victim.

It may be noted that in this very plea, the Delhi High Court had, in October 2020, directed the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technologies & Ors. (MeitY) to act on the complaint expeditiously [if the complaint of the petitioner (the husband of the deceased lady) was found to be correct].

Case title –Ajay Kumar v. Ministry of Electronics and Information Technologies & Ors.

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