Supreme Court takes exception to verdict mentioning victim’s name in rape case

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The Supreme Court has taken exception to a judgment delivered by a sessions court in Chhattisgarh in which the rape victim’s name was mentioned and said that all subordinate courts should be careful while dealing with such matters.

A Bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan said it is well established that in such cases, the name of victim is not to be mentioned in any proceeding.

“However, we take exception to the judgment of the sessions judge where the name of victim is mentioned,” said the Bench, also comprising Justices Vineet Saran and M. R. Shah.

“We are of the view that all the subordinate courts shall be careful in future while dealing with such cases,” the Bench said in its June 30 order.

The apex court said this in the order by which it rejected the plea filed by a convict who was challenging the Chhattisgarh High Court verdict dismissing his appeal against conviction in a rape case.

“In the facts of the case, we are not inclined to entertain this special leave petition. The special leave petition is accordingly dismissed,” the Bench said.

The high court, in its December 2019 judgment, had dismissed the convict’s plea against a trial court verdict awarding him 10 years jail after holding him guilty in the case.

The sessions court in Mahasamund had convicted the man in the case lodged in 2001.

The high court had upheld the trial court’s order saying the victim’s statement inspired confidence and as per the evidence, it cannot be said to be a case of consensual physical relation.

The apex court, in a verdict delivered in December 2018, had said that name and identity of victims of rape and sexual assault, including those who have died, cannot be disclosed “even in a remote manner”.

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