Don’t disclose identity of ‘victim children’ in media: Child right commission

* STRICTLY IMPLEMENT SECTION 74 OF JUVENILE JUSTICE ACT & PROTECTION OF CHILDREN FROM SEXUAL OFFENSES ACT, 2012 (POCSO ACT) PENAL PROVISION 23(2)

Chandigarh, August 6:

The Punjab State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights emphasizing the implementation of the Section 74 of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 and Protection of Children from Sexual Act, 2012 (POCSO Act)  Penal Provision 23(2) in letter and spirit.

In its advisory, The Commission ordered to all concerned to not publish/run in various vernacular/English print and electronic/live media or upload video of victim child on Youtube wherein identity and other particulars of child victims are disclosed which may entail real risk of children facing harm, stigma, retribution etc. which is a blatant contravention of section 74 of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.

Section 74 Prohibition on disclosure of identity of children:-(1) No report in any newspaper, magazine, news-sheet or audio-visual media or other forms of communication regarding any inquiry or investigation or judicial procedure, shall disclose the name, address or school or any other particular, which may lead to the identification of a child in conflict with law or a child in need of care and protection or a child victim or witness of a crime, involved in such matter, under any other law for the time being in force, nor shall the picture of any such child be published:

Provided that for reasons to be recorded in writing, the Board or Committee, as the case may be holding the inquiry may permit such disclosure, if in its opinion such disclosure is in the best interest of child.

(2) The Police shall not disclose any record of the child for the purpose of character certificate or otherwise in cases where the case has been closed or disposed of.

(3) Any person contravening the provisions of sub-section(1) shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or fine which may extend to two lakh rupees or both.   

Under Protection of Children from Sexual Act, 2012 (POCSO Act) No reports in any media shall disclose the identity of a child including his name, address, photograph, family details, school, neighborhood or any other particulars which may lead to disclosure of identity of the child. Provided that for reasons to be recorded in writing, the Special Court, competent to try the case under the Act, may permit such disclosure, if in its opinion such disclosure is in the interest of the child. As per Penal Provision 23(4) any person who contravenes the provisions of sub- section (2) shall be liable to be punished with imprisonment of either description for a period which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to one year or with fine or with both.   

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