Yet again, home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde left the government red-faced — this time by reading out the names of three minor girls raped and murdered in Bhandara district of Maharashtra last month.
Shinde committed the gaffe in Rajya Sabha on Friday while reading out his statement on the issue.
The blunder was pointed out by leader of the opposition, Arun Jaitley, who said criminal law prohibits revealing of names of dead rape victims unless their family gives consent for doing so.
He said, “In the home minister's statement, the names of all three victims have come in. I am sure it is an oversight… If what should not have been done has been done, he should withdraw his statement,” Jaitley said.
Deputy chairperson PJ Kurien immediately directed the names be expunged from proceedings and asked the media not to publish them. Shinde was also apologetic, asking the names to be deleted from House records.
Later, he told reporters that he had ordered a probe into how the names had found their way into his statement.
But the minister’s bad luck did not end here. More than an hour after the names were expunged, home ministry officials released his original statement — containing the victims’ names — to the media.
The statement was hurriedly withdrawn from the government website once the officials realised their mistake.