Disclosure of identity of children in cases of sexual offences is a punishable offence

Raipur: Disclosure of identity in cases of sexual offences against children is a violation of section 23 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POSCO Act) and a punishable offence with imprisonment of six months to one year or fine or both. 

Chhattisgarh State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has recommended the Superintendents of Police to take appropriate action against the concern on disclosure of the identity of children in such cases through newspapers, electronic media, web news portals or any related medium.

The commission has asked to take immediate action in such cases and inform the commission at the earliest by registering a case without any delay. Action should be taken against the guilty as per law. The Commission has written a letter to the Public Relations Department to draw the attention of the media towards this matter and the recommended action to be taken in such cases as per rules.

In the letter issued by the Commission, Section 23 (2) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act 2012, reads that no reports in any media shall disclose, the identity of a 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. Any person who contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) of Section 23 shall be liable to be punished with imprisonment of either description for a period which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to one year or with fine or with both.

The Chhattisgarh State Child Protection Commission has maintained that the identity of the child cannot be disclosed in any way in case of sexual offences against children. The incidents of publishing names and photos through newspapers, electronic media, web portals or other media are coming to light these days. The Commission has made these recommendations to prevent such incidents and to provide a safe and friendly environment for the children.

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