Identity of sexual assault victims has to be protected, says Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that the identity of sexual assault survivors has to be protected at all stages of the case including during trial.

The top court barred media organisations and law-enforcement agencies from revealing the identity of rape victims, even if they are dead and also laid down a number of guidelines in this regard. It also said that their names cannot be used at public rallies or on social media platforms.

“Police or forensic authorities cannot disclose the names of sexual assault survivors either, even with the parents’ consent,” it said.

“The identity of minor rape victims cannot be disclosed even by their families,” it added.

The apex Court ruled on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed before it.

A bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur, Deepak Gupta and S. Abdul Nazeer said that the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) reports and other documents related to such cases will be handed over to the trial court in a sealed cover without disclosing the identity of the victims.