Judicial officers should not mention the name of victims in the judgements passed in sexual assault cases and they "must avoid" disclosing the identity to protect their reputation, the Delhi High Court has said.
Justice S P Garg said this while noting that a magistrate as well as district and sessions judge had mentioned the name of victim in their orders in a molestation case.
"Before parting with the case, it is noted that in the judgement dated October 21, 2013, name of the prosecutrix/ victim has been disclosed/mentioned. The trial court was not expected to indicate the victim’s name in the judgement," the court said.
"The mistake has been carried out by the district and sessions judge too… Presiding officers must avoid disclosing identity of the victim/prosecutrix in such cases in the judgement to protect her reputation," it said.
The court noted it while dismissing a revision petition filed by a man challenging the legality and correctness of a July 2014 judgement passed by the district and sessions judge on his appeal against a magisterial court’s verdict convicting him for the offence under section 354 (molestation) of IPC.
The magistrate had awarded one-year jail term to the man for outraging the modesty of a seven-year-old girl in Okhla here in July 2012.
During the hearing before the high court, the counsel appearing for the man had argued that he was not challenging the findings of the conviction.
The lawyer requested the court to take a lenient view considering the fact that the man was around 70-year-old and has remained in custody for "sufficient duration".
"Since the petitioner (man) has given up challenge to the findings on conviction, conviction under section 354 IPC stands affirmed. Besides it, there is ample evidence on record to establish petitioner’s guilt," the court noted.
The court refused to show any leniency observing that the man was "well aware of the consequences of his act" and the victim was "like his grand-daughter".