Taking cognizance of media reports which disclosed identities of juveniles or minors, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) said it had written a letter condemning such reportage to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on 5 October.
The NCPCR said it urged the ministry to make the media fraternity be aware of a law which prohibits such revelations. The disclosure of identity of a child is prohibited under Section 23 of Protection of Children and Sexual Act (POSCO), 2012 and Section 74 of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.
NCPCR said the letter mentioned some clippings of newspapers and programs which were found revealing identities of juveniles. “The Juvenile Justice Act and POSCO Act clearly prohibits any kind of disclosure related to the identity of a minor. Many reports came into light which were indirectly revealing the juvenile’s identity or about their work place,” member of NCPCR Yashwant Jain told The Statesman.
The Juvenile Justice Act clearly mentions that any form of communication regarding any inquiry or investigation or judicial procedure disclosing the name, address or school or any particular may lead to the identification of child is prohibited. And if anyone found prohibiting the under sections he shall be punished for six years or fine which may extend to two lakh rupees or both.
Jain added, “the commission is very serious regarding such issues which can hurt the future of any juvenile. We are also planning to send notice to all the media organizations or if necessary will organise workshops to educate them with laws.”
“As per the law publishers and owners of a media houses or studios shall be jointly liable for the acts and omission of his employees. The commission is hopeful that the ministry will issue an advisory to all media agencies (both electronic and print) to comply with the provisions of POSCO and JJ Act. A proper implementation of these Acts will protect the fundamental rights of children,” said Jain.