Can mother of Walayar case victims be named when she contests polls?


Shina Mohan

IPC 228 A directs that those who publish the name or any details that disclose the identity of the sexual assault victim will be awarded a sentence of two years and penalty.

Mother of Walayar victims | Photo: Mathrubhumi

New Delhi: The media is calling her ‘the mother of Walayar sisters’. This is because of the IPC 228-A which prevents disclosure of the identity of a sexual assault victim. However, the situation changed after the woman filed nomination to contest the assembly polls.

When she is contesting the election, she is not the mother of Walayar sisters, but only an Indian citizen aged above 25 years and name included in the voters list. She has the right to life and personal liberty as per Article 21 of the Constitution.



IPC 228 A directs that those who publish the name or any details that disclose the identity of the sexual assault victim will be awarded a sentence of two years and penalty. Delhi high court had fined Rs 10 lakh each from 12 media houses for publishing the name of the Kathua rape victim.

Meanwhile, the law points out that the name can be published if the victim grants written permission or the police officer in charge of the station allows for investigation-related purposes. If the victim is no more or is facing mental challenges, permission should be sought from close relatives to publish the name.

However, the supreme court made it clear that even if the victim is no more, their details cannot be published. The top court observed that the deceased persons also have dignity and hence their name should not be revealed even if the family agrees.

This was clarified while considering the case of the 8-year-old rape victim in Kathua. Amicus curie Indira Jaising pointed out that the IPC 228 A should be considered in a broad perspective and the supreme court had promised to examine the same.

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