Rahul Gandhi’s tweet of photo of minor ‘rape’ victim’s parents violates law: NCPCR to HC

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has told the Delhi High Court that senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s tweet of a photograph of the parents of a minor girl, who was allegedly raped and killed in 2021, was “in violation” of the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act.

The submission was made by the body in its response to a plea seeking registration of FIR against Gandhi for tweeting a photograph of the parents of the nine-year-old Dalit girl who was allegedly raped and killed at a crematorium in Southwest Delhi in August 2021.

“…that Shri Rahul Gandhi posted a picture of his meeting with the parents of the minor victim girl on his social media accounts thereafter revealing the identity of the minor girl. The tweet/post of respondent No. 1 Shri Rahul Gandhi is in violation of the Juvenile Justice Act 2015, which makes it…clear that any information including family details should not be published in any form of media which could lead to the identification of any minor victim,” the body’s reply stated.

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On Thursday, a division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula granted time to other respondents in the matter to file response to the plea and listed it for hearing on November 23.

Besides the JJ Act, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) and the IPC also make disclosing the identity of a minor victim of sexual assault a punishable offence, NCPCR said.

In its reply, NCPCR said that after it received a complaint related to the incident, keeping in view the “serious offence” committed by Gandhi, the body had forwarded the complaint to the Delhi Police and Twitter for the removal of the post in question and for taking necessary action against his Twitter handle. It further stated that while Twitter, on the notice of NCPCR, withheld the post in India, “the same tweet/post is available for the public to be seen outside India”.