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NEW DELHI: Twelve newspapers and TV networks have been fined by the Delhi High Court for disclosing the name of eight-year-old Kathua rape and murder victim.
The media outlets have fined Rs 10 lakh (Cad $20,000) each for revealing the identity of the eight-year-old innocent girl – Asifa Bano – who was held captive in a temple, gangraped and then murdered in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir in January with the intention of driving away the Muslim nomadic tribe of Bakerwals to which the victim belonged. Eight men have been arrested for the crime which has led to widespread protests across India.
The media groups which have been fined are The Times of India, The Hindu, The Statesman, The Indian Express, Navbharat Times, The Pioneer, First Post, The Week, Deccan Chronicle, NDTV, India TV, and Republic TV.
The media houses apologized in the court, pleading that their reports revealed the identity of the victim due to misconception about the law – they thought they could name the victim after she is deceased.
The court ordered that the money be deposited within a week. The money will be used to compensate the victim family.
The court asked the media houses to give publicity to the privacy laws related to victims of sexual offences and punishment for revealing their identities.