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Don’t disclose identity of ‘victim children’ to media: Child right commission

* Strictly implement Section 74 of Juvenilia justice Act

Chandigarh, April 19:.Punjab State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights issued a letter to concerned person to implement section 74 of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 in letter and spirit.

In its latter Commission expressed shocked over the oversight of a few police officers from higher echelons of district getting pictures of themselves with child victim published/run in various vernacular/English print and electronic/live media wherein identity and other particulars of child victims are also disclosed which may entail real risk of children facing harm, stigma, retribution etc. which is a blatant contravention of section 74 of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.

 Section 74. Prohibition on disclosure of identity of children:-(1) No report in any newspaper, magazine, news-sheet or audio-visual media or other forms of communication regarding any inquiry or investigation or judicial procedure, shall disclose the name, address or school or any other particular, which may lead to the identification of a child in conflict with law or a child in need of 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:

Provided that for reasons to be recorded in writing, the Board or Committee, as the case may be holding the inquiry may permit such disclosure, if in its opinion such disclosure is in the best interest of child.

(2) The Police shall not disclose any record of the child for the purpose of character certificate or otherwise in cases where the case has been closed or disposed of.

(3) Any person contravening the provisions of sub-section(1) shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or fine which may extend to two lakh rupees or both.

The instructions further asked all concerned to be remained informed on above provision which seeks to protect the identity of victim child also and for its scrupulous/meticulous implementation/compliance by subordinate police officers so that no such news item appear in either of media from now onwards. Higher ups in the Police Department, in compliance of this order instructions relating to the matter in question have been asked to issue instructions to their subordinate police officers immediately.