India

Plea in Supreme Court for guidelines to protect dignity of accused in sex offence cases

Reputation is lost forever even if the charge is false, says petition.

Reputation is lost forever even if the charge is false, says petition.

The Supreme Court on Monday sought response from the Centre on a plea to frame guidelines to protect the reputation and dignity of persons accused in sex offence cases.

A Bench led by Justice S.A. Bobde issued notice to the government on a clutch of petitions, including one by Youth Bar Association of India, arguing that a person is considered innocent unless proven guilty by a court of law and undertrials in sex offence cases should not be exposed to any situation which violate their right to life and dignity.

If a person has been falsely accused, his reputation is lost forever and exposed to public ridicule for no fault of his. This is a violation of the fundamental right to life enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution, the petitioner argued.

“It does not only destroy an individual’s life but creates a social stigma to the family members too… Need of the hour demands that some preventive measures must be taken to avoid and to deal with such situations in the interest of justice,” the association submitted.

Disclosure of his identity, especially during trial, leads to media trial. Besides, considering the widespread tentacles of social media, the person’s name and even that of his family, which may include minors, would be exposed. This would be a violation of their fundamental right to privacy.

“Previous identification as a suspect will endure in the public sphere,” the petition said.


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Printable version | Aug 13, 2022 2:53:08 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/plea-in-supreme-court-for-guidelines-to-protect-dignity-of-accused-in-sex-offence-cases/article28750712.ece