JABALPUR: The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Wednesday served notices to the Centre and state governments on a petition demanding that the name of the accused in cases of sexual assault should not be published.
Section 228 (A) of the Indian Penal Code is "gender discriminatory" as it only protects the identity of the woman victim, the petition filed by P G Najpandey and Mumtaz Ahmed Khan said.
The section prohibits disclosure of the identity of the victim of sexual assault and related offences.
A division bench of Chief Justice S K Seth and Justice V K Shukla admitted the public interest litigation (PIL) for hearing, said Ajay Shankar Raizada, the petitioners' counsel.
The petition contended that there was no bar on the publication of the name of male accused in such cases, though the law considers every person innocent till proved guilty.
The government should show how only the victim woman is affected if the identity is disclosed, but not the male accused.
Section 228 (A) violates the right to equality under Article 14 of the Constitution, Raizada said.
The lawyer said the #MeToo movement on social media against sexual harassment could also be used to "tarnish" the image of an innocent man.