Child rights body NCPCR on Wednesday asked the Delhi Police and Twitter to take action over Congress leader Rahul Gandhi posting on the microblogging site a photo of the family of a Dalit girl allegedly raped and killed here, saying it violates the Juvenile Justice and POCSO Acts.
Gandhi on Wednesday met the family of the nine-year-old girl and asserted that he is with them on the path to justice and “will not back down even an inch”.
Later, he posted a picture of his meeting with the girl’s parents on Twitter and wrote in Hindi, “Parents’ tears are saying only one thing- their daughter, the daughter of this country, deserves justice. And I am with them on this path to justice.”
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) sent a letter to the resident grievance officer of Twitter, saying it received a complaint that a photo of the victim’s family has been posted on the Twitter handle @Rahul Gandhi with the caption stating that they are the father and the mother of the child.
“In the said photo, the faces of the victim’s father and mother can be seen which thereby reveals the identity of the girl,” the apex child rights body said.
“Therefore, posting of the photo of the minor victim’s family on the said Twitter handle has been observed by the commission to be a violation of Section 74 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, Section 23 of the POCSO Act, 2012, Section 228A of the IPC and the guidelines of the Hon’ble court as well,” it said.
Accordingly, the complaint is being forwarded for appropriate action against the Twitter handle and removal of the tweet from the platform, it said.
The NCPCR also wrote to the Delhi Police and sought action against Gandhi, saying he is in violation of provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act, POCSO Act and the IPC.
It requested that an action-taken report from both the Delhi Police and Twitter in the matter may be sent to the commission within three days.
The move comes shortly after BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra accused Gandhi of violating the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and another law dealing with juveniles by tweeting a picture of the girl’s parents as disclosing any aspect of a rape victim’s identity is an offence.
Patra urged the NCPCR to take cognisance of the matter and issue notice to the Congress leader.
Section 74 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, prohibits disclosure of the identity of children while Section 23 of the POCSO Act, 2012, lays out the procedure for media coverage of such cases and Section 228 of the IPC prohibits publishing the identity of sexual assault and rape victim.
The girl died under mysterious circumstances when she went to get water from a cooler at a crematorium in the Old Nangal area in southwest Delhi.
The girl’s parents alleged that she was raped and her body was forcibly cremated by a crematorium priest who had falsely claimed that she was electrocuted.
Hundreds of locals, including the victim’s parents, have been staging a protest near the site of the incident, demanding capital punishment for the convicts.
Police had on Monday said that based on the statement of the victim’s mother, rape charges have been added in the FIR.
Four people, including the priest, have been arrested. The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) has launched an inquiry into the incident.