March 16, 2019:
The Tamil Nadu Govt has been directed to pay a compensation of ₹25 lakh to the victim of the Pollachi sexual abuse case after officials disclosed her name in a press conference and Govt order (GO) issued for transfer of the case to the CBI.
A division bench of Justice N Kirubakaran and Justice S S Sundar of the Madras High Court (Madurai bench) also directed the state government to issue a fresh GO as the present GO has revealed the identity of the victim, and recommended the state to take disciplinary action against the officials.
The Judges issued the order while hearing a PIL filed by S Ilamuhil, a resident of Trichy, who sought a direction to prevent the circulation of videos and pictures of heinous crimes like rape on social media.
The Judges stated that though criminal acts like the Pollachi incident have been committed for a long time, a girl has come forward boldly to expose these inhuman acts.
The victim filed the complaint hoping that her identity would be protected, but Police Officials have disclosed her identity to the media.
The Court expects that the police officials who are responsible for the disclosure of victim’s identity would be departmentally proceeded with by the State Govt and also directed the state to take disciplinary action against the Superintendent of Police who has revealed information about the number of videos and number of accused in the preliminary stage of investigation.
After the Nirbhaya incident, the Central Govt made an amendment in IPC Section 228 (A) based on Justice Verma’s Committee which prohibits the disclosure of victim’s identity.
Moreover, the GO of the home department dated Mar 13, 2019 issued by the state has incorporated the name of the victim along with her brother’s name and her college name.
The Court directed the state to withdraw the GO and issue a fresh GO without disclosing the victim’s identity. Later, the Judges transferred the case to the principal seat in Chennai.