Television

Media to be penalised if it publishes photos or details of child victims

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NEW DELHI: In a new Juvenile Justice Bill to be brought in Parliament after repealing the existing Act, the government has said that revealing names or addresses of victims in news reports will entail a minimum sentence of six months or a fine which may extend up to Rs 2 lakh or both.

The proposed Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill 2014 in section 74 says: “No report in any newspaper, magazine, news-sheet or audio-visual media or other forms of communication regarding any inquiry or investigation or judicial procedure, shall disclose the name, address or school or any other particular, which may lead to the identification of a child in conflict with law or a child in need of care and protection or a child victim or witness of a crime, involved in such matter, under any Act for the time being in force.”

Furthermore, no media can publish the picture of any such child. However, “the Board or Committee, as the case may be, holding the inquiry may permit such disclosure, if in its opinion such disclosure is in the best interest of the child,” provided that reasons are given for such permission.

The Women and Child Development Ministry today placed the new bill on its website wcd.nic.in and asked stakeholders to send in their comments within 15 days to vivek.joshi@nic.in with a copy to ashi.kapoor@ nic.injyotimathur@yahoo.co.in.

Clause Two of the section 74 says “any person contravening the provisions of sub-section (1) shall be punishable with imprisonment for six months or fine which may extend to Rs 2 lakh or both.”

The Ministry wants suggestions/comments from the civil society organisations, non-government organisations and individuals.

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