April 18, 2018
In a path breaking move the Delhi High Court has directed media houses to deposit Rs. 10 lakh each as compensation towards revealing the identity of the Kathua rape case victim. Here it would be relevant to mention that the Delhi High Court in its April 13 order had taken a suo motu cognizance of the case and had condemned the Media houses for revealing the identity of Kathua Rape case victim and also issued notice in this regard to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
The Media houses that have been penalized in the case include India TV, Indian Express, NDTV, The Hindu, Republic TV. It has been reported that the penalty to be paid by media houses would be deposited in the J&K Victim Compensation Fund.
It is true that democracy and freedom of speech and expression entrusts the right on the media (print and electronic) to express their thoughts and ideas. However, there are reasonable restrictions on the same and the right of expression exercised by the media shall not transgress the limits of morality. The revelation of Kathua rape case identity is indeed a disappointing one. The victim’s image flashes every time you switch on to a news channel or open the Facebook page. The Delhi High Court’s instant order is indeed a welcome one and would act as a deterrent for media houses in future.