first_imgThe Supreme Court on Thursday placed a blanket ban on the media showing images, even in a morphed form, of the victims of rape at a shelter home in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district.Taking cognisance of the sexual abuse at the shelter home run by a State-funded NGO, a Bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta directed the media not to interview the victims.The Bench took up the case after Ranvijay Kumar from Patna wrote to the court about repeated media interviews with the victims.The Bench remarked that courts have repeatedly said a victim of sexual offence should not be made to relive the trauma. In this case, the victims were made to go through it again and again, the Bench said.Calling it “extremely disturbing,” the Bench issued notice to the Centre and the Bihar government seeking their responses.“Why should a child be interviewed at all? Will the interviewer or the person holding the camera appear in the witness box? Never,” the bench remarked.Advocate Aparna Bhat, who was appointed amicus curiae in the matter, requested the court to give a direction that there should not be any media interview with the alleged victims.“What about freedom of speech and expression? Media will then say that the Supreme Court is banning them,” the bench said.Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, said a minor must be insulated from such interviews.The bench said it had not restrained the police from conducting a probe. If they wanted to question the alleged victims, they would have to take the assistance of professional counsellors and qualified child psychiatrist, in consultation with the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences in Bengaluru and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai.The bench wanted to know whether the victims had been given compensation. It posted the case for further hearing on August 7.last_img

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