27 Jan 2023 10:39 AM GMT
Dealing with a plea seeking action against media houses for revealing identity of victim and accused persons of Hyderabad rape case, the Delhi High Court has directed the Delhi Government to set up “one stop centres” in every district in compliance of a Supreme Court decision of 2018. A division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad referred to...
Dealing with a plea seeking action against media houses for revealing identity of victim and accused persons of Hyderabad rape case, the Delhi High Court has directed the Delhi Government to set up “one stop centres” in every district in compliance of a Supreme Court decision of 2018.
A division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad referred to the judgment in Nipun Saxena v. Union of India passed on December 11, 2018.
The apex court in the ruling had requested state governments and Union Territories to set up at least one one stop centre in every district within one year of the judgment. It had observed that such centres can be used as a central police station where all crimes against women and children in town or city are registered.
The apex court had said that the centres should have well-trained staff, adequate medical facilities, counsellors and psychiatrists should also be available on call, video conferencing facility for recording statement of the victims and court rooms for trial of such cases.
Noting that the direction has not been complied with by Delhi Government till date, the bench said:
“In fact, the State Governments are already in contempt in not adhering to the time limit fixed by the Apex Court in setting up such centres within one year from the date of the judgment passed by the Apex Court which was passed on 11.12.2018.”
The court also directed Delhi Government to lay down the criteria as directed by the Supreme Court for identifying social welfare institutions or organisations, to whom the next of kin can give the authorization for declaration of the name under Section 228-A(2)(c) IPC. The apex court in the 2018 ruling had observed that neither the Central Government nor any State Government has recognized any such social welfare institutions or organizations to whom the next of kin should give the authorization.
“We are, therefore, directing the GNCTD to act under Section 228-A (3) IPC and lay down the criteria as directed by the Apex Court. The State is also directed to set-up one-stop centres in every District in compliance of the judgment of the Apex Court…,” the court said.
Amicus Curiae Senior Advocate Rebecca John earlier apprised the court that a similar issue regarding compensation to victims and criminal action under section 228A IPC is pending before Telangana High Court.
Taking note of the submission, the court said it does not find it appropriate to initiate proceedings against media houses and reported individuals or to direct investigating authorities to take cognizance of the offence.
“We express our appreciation to Ms. Rebecca John who has spent a lot of time on collating the development of law on this subject, the position of law in other countries, and has given a lot of valuable suggestions and assisted this Court. With these observations, the Writ Petition is disposed of, along with pending application(s), if any,” the court said.
Title: Yashdeep Chahal v. UOI & Ors.
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Del) 90