The Chhattisgarh High Court has recently directed that the names of rape victims be kept completely confidential. The Court in its order ruled that special care has been taken to ensure that there is no difficulty in rehabilitation and administration of the victims. Also, the police has been directed to present sealed challans in such cases in courts, so that the name does not become public.
The single-judge bench of Justice Sanjay K. Agarwal said in its order that the name of the victim should not be mentioned in the order by the criminal court which tried the offence under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code.
The High Court has ordered to send the copy of the order to the Director General of Police, Inspector General of Police, Superintendent of Police and the District Court of the state to the Registrar General of Chhattisgarh High Court.
Justice Agarwal has said in his judgment that after the hearing in the rape case, the name of the victim will no longer be mentioned in the decision given by the court. For the rehabilitation of the victim, the name will remain in the government documents, but she is forbidden to make it public in any way.
Bharat Bajaj, a resident of Bilaspur, petitioned the Chhattisgarh High Court through advocate Vipin Punjabi challenging the order passed by the Atrocity Court for DNA test.
During the hearing of the case, Justice Agarwal found that the name of the rape victim is mentioned in the police application and the court order.
“Criminal courts manning the offence of rape are not to mention the name of the victim in their order or judgment, but yet in several places of the impugned order which is in two pages, the name of the victim has been mentioned. Such a practice is deprecated. Similarly, the investigating officer during the course of investigation as well as in the application filed before the Court seeking DNA profiling has mentioned the name of the victim despite having been deprecated by their Lordships of the Supreme Court in the aforesaid judgments and not followed the procedure to be followed i.e. keeping the name of victim in sealed cover,”
-the Court observed. After hearing the case, this order has been issued while dismissing the petition. In the application submitted by the police for DNA test, the identity of the rape victim was completely made public.