NEW DELHI: In a bid to protect the identity of the victim in cases involving sexual offences, the Delhi High Court, in its ruling, has directed all trial courts to ensure that the identity of the victims shall not be disclosed anywhere on judicial record, and that names shall be referred to by pseudonyms during the course of trial and in the judgment.
A division bench comprising justices R K Gauba and Gita Mittal passed the order while hearing an appeal by Gaya Prasad Pal, who was convicted for offences punishable of sexual assault on his 14-year-old step-daughter and making her pregnant with his child and criminally intimidating her. He was sentenced to life imprisonment by the trial court.
The court in its order also made it clear that a child born out of rape is entitled to compensation, independent of any such relief granted to the mother and said, “A child born out of rape, either of a minor or a woman who is an adult, is clearly a victim of the act by the offender and entitled to compensation independent of the amount of compensation paid to his/her mother.”
The court expressed shock and concern over the man’s attitude towards the victim. The court had upheld his conviction and sentence for life imprisonment.
The Bench expressed its anguish at the disclosure of the identity of the victim prosecutrix in the case and observed that if reference is required in this context, only the particulars of the victim noted at the stage of recording of the evidence need to be seen.
The Bench held that it is the statutory responsibility of the special court to ensure that the identity of the child is not disclosed at any time, and said, “The identity of the child does not mean only the name, but includes the identity of family, school, relatives, neighbourhood or any other information by which his/her identity may stand exposed.”