Disclosing minor rape victim's identity: HC asks NCPCR to respond to plea against Rahul Gandhi

NCPCR had earlier told the court that despite Twitter's claim about taking down Mr. Gandhi's alleged tweet, the offence of making such disclosure survives

March 24, 2023 02:11 pm | Updated 02:11 pm IST - New Delhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. | Photo Credit: PTI

The Delhi High Court on March 24 sought the national child rights panel's response to a plea seeking the registration of an FIR against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for allegedly revealing a Dalit girl's identity, who was raped and killed in 2021, by posting on Twitter a photo with her parents.

A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sachin Datta issued notice to National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCOCR) and granted it four weeks to file a counter-affidavit in response to the petition.

The court listed the matter for further hearing on July 27.

At the outset, the counsel for NCPCR submitted that a formal notice has not been issued to them and urged the court to issue a notice to the child rights body on the petition to enable it to file an affidavit.

NCPCR had earlier told the court that despite Twitter's claim about taking down Mr. Gandhi's alleged tweet, the offence of making such disclosure survives.

Makarand Suresh Mhadlekar, a social activist, moved the high court in 2021 claiming that by posting the photo with the parents of the child victim, Mr. Gandhi violated the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, which prohibit the disclosure of the identity of minor victims of sexual offences.

Twitter had submitted that "nothing survived" in the petition as the tweet in question has been "geo-blocked" and was not available in India. Its counsel had also informed that initially, Mr. Gandhi's entire account was suspended by the social media platform but it was later restored.

A nine-year-old Dalit girl died under suspicious circumstances on August 1, 2021, with her parents alleging that she was raped, murdered and cremated by a crematorium's priest in southwest Delhi's Old Nangal village.

On October 5, 2021, a bench headed by then Chief Justice D. N. Patel issued notice to Twitter on the petition which alleged that Mr. Gandhi was "attempting to take political mileage out of the unfortunate incident".

The court had then refused to issue notice to Mr. Gandhi, the Delhi Police and NCPCR on the public interest litigation (PIL) at that stage. The plea has also sought initiation of appropriate legal action against Mr. Gandhi by NCPCR.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.