Concerned over disclosure of names or identity of a child victim, Delhi High Court asked all concerned, including trial courts and hospitals, not to do so and expeditiously implement laid-down guidelines while dealing with child-related cases.
Besides non-disclosure of a child’s identity unless allowed by Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) or Child Welfare Committee (CWC), the guidelines, prepared by a committee set up by the High Court, also deal with creation of probe panels in courts and hospitals in case of such lapses.
In November last year, the court had said “it shall be the duty of hospital or medical facility, where a child may be referred, admitted for treatment or being treated or which conducts any other medical examination/tests or provides any service to child, to ensure that no detail pertaining to identity and infringement upon privacy of such child is made available to media.”
In its latest directive, a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw directed that “the guidelines framed by the committee appointed by this court and as approved by this court should be implemented with immediate effect. The guidelines be circulated in all courts and hospitals of the national capital, so that they are implemented.”
The bench said this should be done before July 15.
The court’s direction came after it was informed that the guidelines were not being implemented, as the authorities were found to be disclosing the name and identity of the children in need of care and protection, without permission from Child Welfare Committee (CWC) and, thus, violating the Juvenile Justices (JJ) Act.
The court was hearing a letter petition, filed by lawyer Anant Asthana, which questioned revealing of the name and details of a 15-year-old girl who had brought a two-year-old baby girl to AIIMS in January 2012.
The child was brought to AIIMS Trauma Centre on January 18, 2012 with severe head injury, both arms broken, bite marks all over her body and her cheeks branded with hot iron.