Identity of victim/prosecutrix in sexual assault cases should not be disclosed in judgment

Delhi High Court:  The Single Judge Bench of S.P. Garg, J cautioned the lower court Judges that the identity of the victim or prosecutrix in a sexual assualt case should not be disclosed in the judgment passed by them, in order to protect her reputation. The Court categorically observed, “Before parting with the case, it is noted that in the impugned judgment dated 21.10.2013, name of the prosecutrix/victim has been disclosed/mentioned. The trial court was not expected to indicate the victim’s name in the judgment. The mistake has been carried out by the learned District  and Sessions Judge too while disposing Crl. A. 73/2013. Learned Presiding Officers must avoid disclosing identity of the victim/prosecutrix in such cases in the judgment to protect her reputation.”

Deciding a revision petition challenging the legality and correctness of the Sessions Court’s order by which the petitioner’s conviction under Section 354 of the Penal Code, 1860 and sentence of rigorous imprisonment for one year was upheld, the Court observed that the petitioner did not furnish any plausible explanation to the incriminating circumstances proved against him. The concurrent findings of the courts below based upon fair and proper appreciation of the evidence deserved no intervention. The Court held that considering the gravity of the offence whereby an innocent child aged about seven years was sexually assaulted by the petitioner, aged about 65 years, further leniency was uncalled for. Dismissing the petition, the Court observed that the petitioner was well aware of the consequences of his act, as the prosecutrix was like his granddaughter. [Gopal Yadav v. State (GNCT) Delhi, 2016 SCC OnLine Del 3275, decided on May 25, 2016]

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