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HindustanTimes Tue,29 Jul 2014

Gang rape case: Delhi police harden stand on media gag

Harish V Nair, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 13, 2013
First Published: 19:47 IST(13/2/2013) | Last Updated: 23:32 IST(13/2/2013)

Stoutly defending the gag order on publication of gang rape proceedings, the police on Wednesday told the Delhi High Court that even if the court had not made the trial in-camera, the force was within its rights to ban reporting.

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The police said an FIR can be lodged against anyone violating the ban.

"In respect of advisory (denying permission to cover the proceedings) it is submitted that there is no illegality in respect of Section 327 CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code) as the said provision shall be held to be mandatory that it to say applicable even if there is no specific order in that regard by the court," said the police affidavit.

"The advisory was a courtesy as a violation would necessarily require the police to register an FIR under Section 228A of the IPC (Indian Penal Code)," said the affidavit filed by DCP (south) Chhaya Sharma.

While Section 228A makes disclosure of victim's name an offence, under Section 327 of CrPC, a rape trial can be made in-camera.

Meanwhile, the court, which is hearing a petition filed by a group of journalists challenging the ban imposed by the magistrate court and later upheld by a sessions judge, said it would examine the larger issue of rights of the media and the extent to which public and the media could be allowed to be present at a rape trial.

"We will examine the issue and work on some methodology on how to allow reporting and at the same time protect the interest of the victim, her family and also of the accused," Justice Rajiv Shakdher said.

The court, however, refused to grant any immediate relief to the journalists.


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