Wife's picture circulated as Hathras victim: Man tells Delhi HC
A man has approached the Delhi High Court alleging his dead wife's photo was being circulated, depicting her as the victim of Hathras case, prompting the bench to pass orders to the Centre. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology was asked to expeditiously act on the man's complaint. HC said Facebook, Twitter, and Google should be given necessary directions if the man's complaint is correct.
The petitioner told Justice Navin Chawla that his wife is being represented as the 19-year-old Dalit girl, who was allegedly gang-raped in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, on September 14. To recall, after battling her serious injuries, the victim died on September 29 in Delhi. This case sparked immense outrage, was discussed in Allahabad HC and Supreme Court, and is now being probed by CBI.
The counsel for the petitioner reminded that revealing the identity of a sexual violence victim amounts to crime under IPC. In this case, the wrong image was in circulation, and it should be looked into, he said. At the hearing, the counsel for Twitter noted that the petitioner may approach the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) with his complaint.
Referring to the court's order, the counsel for Twitter explained that once the offending URLs come to their notice, those will be removed. The representative for Google made similar suggestions. Google is just a search engine, the court was told, and after it receives information about the URLs circulating the wrong picture, they will be blocked/deleted. Neel Mason, Ridhima Pabbi, and Ekta Sharma represented Google.
Meanwhile, the CBI on Thursday interrogated the relatives of four accused, who are currently lodged in jail. Narendra Singh, the father of the main accused Sandeep, said he was with his son at the time of the alleged rape. "It was from a local we got to know that the girl was injured," he added, saying he is ready for the narco test.
Sources told TOI that the probing agency might seek permission to question the four accused - Sandeep, Lavkush, Ravi, and Ramu. Since his arrest, Ravi has spoken to his family twice, claimed Alok Singh, an official at Aligarh Jail, where they are lodged. Earlier, the accused alleged that the victim's family had killed her, as they didn't approve of his friendship with the victim.
Notably, CBI has also questioned the victim's family. The victim's brother recently demanded that the accused must be shifted from Aligarh Jail. Her sister-in-law concurred, saying, "We demand that the accused should be sent to another jail from Aligarh. They are not afraid. They are living there like they are staying at their home."