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Chandigarh govt hospital reveals 10-yr-old rape victim’s identity in notice to staff

The offence is punishable with imprisonment for up to six months and/or a fine up to Rs 2 lakh.

punjab Updated: Aug 16, 2017 11:05 IST
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
identity revealed,rape victim,10-yr-old raped
“This is a very crucial time for the child (who is 35 weeks pregnant) and the hospital authorities are doing their best to provide every facility to her. They might have issued the order out of ignorance. I will look into it,” CCPCR chairperson. (Representative image )

Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, in an order issued to its staff last week revealed the identity of the 10-year-old rape survivor, who is admitted there for delivery.

The order was issued by the office of deputy medical superintendent to 10 doctors and personal assistants of three senior officers on August 8 to take stock of arrangements before a visit by the Chandigarh Commission for Protection of Child Rights (CCPCR) team. HT has a copy of the order.

Don’t want my child to see newborn’s face: Father
  • With the 10-year-old’s C-section likely to take place on Wednesday, her father on Monday wrote an application to the GMCH medical officer, making a request for “donating the newborn baby”. The father has requested that for the her child’s bright future, he doesn’t want to accept the newborn, who should be put up for adoption. He does not even want her daughter to be shown the face of the baby. According to sources, the family has told the child that she has a stone in her stomach.

Child Welfare Committee chairperson Neil Roberts said it is a punishable offence under Section 74 of the Juvenile Justice Act to reveal a victim’s identity.

“If anyone complains about it, the person who has issued the notice will have to face punishment,” he said.

According to the section: “No report in any newspaper, magazine, news-sheet or audio-visual media or other forms of communication regarding any query or investigation or judicial procedure shall disclose the name, address, school, or any other particular which may lead to the identification of the child in conflict with law or a child in child or care and protection, or a child victim or witness of a crime, involved in such matter, under any other law for the time being in force, nor shall the picture of any such child be published.”

The offence is punishable with imprisonment for up to six months and/or a fine up to Rs 2 lakh. “These cases are very sensitive and the privacy of the child sex abuse victim must be protected at any cost,” said Neil Roberts.

‘Will look into matter’

However, CCPCR chairperson Harjinder Kaur defended the hospital. “This is a very crucial time for the child (who is 35 weeks pregnant) and the hospital authorities are doing their best to provide every facility to her. They might have issued the order out of ignorance. I will look into it.”

GMCH director-principal (additional) Dr AK Janmeja admitted such a mistake should not have taken place. “I will get it checked,” he said.

Meanwhile, sources said the GMCH medical superintendent did not allow CWC members to visit the patient on Monday. “We had written an application to meet the patient, but it was denied by the MS,” said a CWC member.

First Published: Aug 16, 2017 11:05 IST