Press Council of India tells media to refrain from identifying children harassed in sexual offences, involved in criminal offences

New Delhi: The Press Council of India (PCI) has asked media to refrain from disclosing the identity of children involved in criminal offences and those harassed in sexual offences.

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The move comes after the Delhi High Court on Friday issued notices to several media houses for disclosing the identity of an eight-year-old girl who was gangraped and killed in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua district.

The girl from the nomadic Bakarwal Muslim community had disappeared from near her home in the forests next to Rasana village in Kathua on January 10. A week later, her body was found in the same area.

"The PCI chairman has expressed grave concern over the tendency of the media to disclose identity of children involved in criminal offences and harassed in sexual offences", the council said in a release dated 16 April. The release, however, was made public.

The PCI said the print media followed up on these reports in violation of internationally accepted norms of journalistic conduct in reporting on minors and children. It, however, did not mention the Kathua rape and killing case specifically.

“The PCI chairman has appealed to the media, print and electronic to observe restraint in identification of the accused and the victims”, it said.

Such disclosures were not only against the journalistic ethics but also are violate the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, it said.

It also cited norms to ensure to ensure media reports were “unbiased, accurate and fair”.


Updated Date: Apr 17, 2018 22:30 PM

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