National Women’s Commission (NCW) member Shamina Shafiq on Saturday criticised Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi, for revealing the surname of the victim in the sexual assault case involving Tehelka founder-editor Tarun Tejpal on Twitter.
“She is a responsible person, and if a person like her makes a mistake like this, then it is very unfortunate. It is a punishable offence under 228A, that you cannot reveal the identity of the victim. We will be taking action against this. We will ask for her explanation on this issue,” Shafiq said on Meenakshi Lekhi, who on Friday had twitted the surname of the victim and later apologised for it.
“I don’t understand what has happened to our political class. They blacken the house of a woman. Then they say that people will not employ women in offices because of this case. Now again, this irresponsible behaviour,” she added.
Lekhi, who swiftly withdrew the tweet after posting it on Friday evening, told The Indian Express, “Within a minute, I realised the mistake and removed the post. It was only partial (revealing the identity) and inadvertent.” She later called the newspaper to give her ‘official’ version: “It was not tweeted by me. My phone was misused.”
Meanwhile, Hasiba Amin, president of the Goa unit of the NSUI, submitted a complaint to police saying activist Madhu Kishwar leaked the name of the woman journalist.
National Students Union of India (NSUI) leader Amin, however, said police were not interested in registering her complaint or taking action against the activist.
“I wish to lodge a complaint against activist Madhu Kishwar for revealing the name of the victim in the Tarun Tejpal case of sexual assault,” Amin wrote in her complaint submitted to the Crime Branch on November 24.
The complainant said the comment by Kishwar was made on Twitter on November 22.
Amin has demanded action against Kishwar under Section 228A of the Indian Penal Code which advocates a fine and imprisonment which may extend to two years.