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Image of wrong woman circulated on social media as Hathras victim, husband moves Delhi High Court

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New Delhi (ILNS): The Delhi High Court has directed the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to look into the complaint of a petitioner alleging that a photograph of his deceased wife is being wrongly circulated on social media platforms depicting her as the Hathras tragedy victim.

Justice Navin Chawla, while hearing the plea, has also directed MeitY that if the complaint is found to be correct the ministry shall act upon it within three days, from the receipt of copy of this order by issuing necessary directions to Facebook, Twitter and Google (the respondents) in this regard.

The husband-petitioner has stated that a photograph of his wife is being circulated on various social media platforms wrongly depicting her as the victim of the unfortunate incident of alleged rape and murder of a young girl in Hathras.

The counsel appearing for the petitioner submitted that even otherwise, the revelation of the identity of a ‘rape’ victim is an offence under the Indian Penal Code, though in the present matter image of a wrong person is in circulation.

The counsel appearing for Twitter submitted that the petitioner can make a complaint to the National Crime Records Bureau at cybercrime.gov.in, and once we receive the offending URL through the proper channel the same would be removed / blocked from Twitter.

Similarly, the counsel appearing for Google also submitted that it being merely a search engine, once the URL of the offended content is received the same would be deleted/blocked.

The bench has listed the matter for further hearing on November 9, directing the husband to send necessary documents in support of his grievance along with the copy of the order and URLs currently carrying the offending content in his knowledge. 

-ILNS

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