Rahul Gandhi’s account was temporarily locked out by Twitter. It later issued a statement on the incident, saying that the action was taken as per the information shared by the National Commission of Women (NCW) according to the guidelines under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
Social media behemoth Twitter on Wednesday this week informed a Delhi Court that it had locked the Twitter account of Rahul Gandhi because the senior Congress leader had violated its policy by sharing the pictures of the minor rape victim’s family in a tweet posted by him.
Post the locking of the account of Rahul Gandhi, Congress functionaries began to change their pictures to that of Rahul Gandhi and were outraged about Twitter being “biased”. Rahul Gandhi too posted a video rant on YouTube where he alleged that his account had been locked because Twitter was beholden to the Modi government and therefore, it was denying the right to opinion to his 20 million followers.
It was, however, not just Congress workers and Rahul Gandhi himself who started ranting about the Twitter lock. Indira Jaising, a veteran advocate who has always found herself fighting a battle against the interest of the nation specifically, that of Hindus, took to Twitter to lie about the law meant to protect minor victims just to shield the forever-coming-of-age-baby-politician.
We must understand the prohibition against disclosing the identity of a rape victim is to protect the living survivor , that logic does not apply to the dead victim @TwitterIndia @ShashiTharoor @RahulGandhi— Indira Jaising (@IJaising) August 12, 2021
Indira Jaising, in an attempt to shield Rahul Gandhi and further his propaganda, said, “We must understand the prohibition against disclosing the identity of a rape victim is to protect the living survivor, that logic does not apply to the dead victim”. Saying so, she tagged Twitter India, Shashi Tharoor and Rahul Gandhi.
She had further said that it makes “no sense” to prohibit publishing a photograph of a “dead rape victim”. She alleged that the prohibition was meant for the living.
What does the law say and how does it prove that Indira Jaising is lying
Indira Jaising, a veteran lawyer who fights for terrorists and urban naxals, completely misrepresented the law to shield Rahul Gandhi from the repercussions of his breaking the law meant to protect minor rape victims.
Indira Jaising made two assertions in her tweets. She said:
- The law is meant to protect the identity of the living survivor
- If the minor victim dies, then it makes ‘no sense’ for their identity to not be revealed – also insinuating that it was not against the law to begin with
The law, however, is rather clear on this aspect.
Section 74 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 prohibits the disclosure of identity of a child in any form of media and Section 23 of the POCSO Act, 2012 also states that no information/photo of a child should be published in any form of media which could reveal the identity of the child. This information under Section 23 of the POCSO Act, 2012 includes his/her name, address, photograph, family details, school, neighbourhood or any other particulars which may lead to disclosure of identity of the child.
Section 74 of the JJ Act clearly states that no identifying information of the minor victim can be disclosed. It further says that the Board of Committee, as the case may be, which is holding the inquiry may permit such disclosure if it thinks it is in the interest of the victim. In most cases, it is the District Court Judge.
The POCSO Act is also clear with regards to the disclosure of the identity of a minor victim.
Section 23 of the POCSO Act clearly states that no person shall reveal the identity of the child including his name, address, photograph, family details, school, neighbourhood or any other particulars which may lead to the disclosure of the identity of the child.
Both laws have the provision for imprisonment and fine for those who break this law.
In fact, the government had in 2018 clarified that these laws would also apply to victims who were dead.
G Mohanty, media advisor to the NCPCR had said in 2018, “This is an important clarification made by the government as we have seen in many cases that glaring mistakes are made by police and media houses in many cases when it comes to children involved in sensitive cases. It is now clear that their reputation is to be protected even if they are dead.”
The JJ act also says that the violation of the provision can lead to imprisonment of up to six months or fine which may of up to Rs 2 lakh or both.
Speaking to OpIndia, NCPCR chief Priyank Kanoongo said that these laws are in place not just to protect the victim but also the siblings and other living relatives of the brutalised child. If the identity is revealed, it is possible that the other children of the house would be stigmatised and the reputation of the victim and the living relatives would be impugned. Therefore, even if the victim is dead, it is illegal to make any identifying details public. He further said that only District Session Judge can decide if the identity of the minor rape victim should be revealed if it thinks it is in the best interest of the victim. Further, he said that the parents too had no right to waive the law and allow the dissemination of such information.
It is therefore evident that Indira Jaising lied to protect Rahul Gandhi from the repercussions of revealing the identity of the family of the minor rape victim, thereby compromising the victim’s identity as well.
What Twitter had told the court about the locking of Rahul Gandhi’s account
Social media behemoth Twitter had informed the Delhi High Court that it had locked the Twitter account of Rahul Gandhi because the senior Congress leader had violated its policy by sharing the pictures of the minor rape victims in a tweet posted by him.
During the hearing of the PIL seeking direction to National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and police to take action against the Gandhi scion for his tweet where he allegedly disclosed the identity of Delhi minor rape-murder victim, Twitter said it has removed the said tweet and locked his account.
A PIL has been filed by social activist Makarand Suresh Mhadlekar in Delhi High Court seeking action against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for disclosing the identity of the 9-year-old rape victim and her family on Twitter.
In the petition, Maharashtra-based social activist Makarand Suresh Mhadlekar alleged that Rahul Gandhi has violated section 74 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 and section 23(2)the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO), 2012. Both the provisions mandate that the identity of the child victim of a crime shall not be disclosed. The petition also sought legal action against Rahul Gandhi by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) for making public the identity of the minor victim.
Despite Twitter informing the court that they have removed the tweet and locked the account, the petitioner insisted that the social media company should file an affidavit. However, the court rejected that demand, saying that there was no reason why Twitter would be lying. The court said that Twitter has acted responsibly, and there was no reason to disbelieve them. The court posted the matter for hearing on 27 September.