Deceased wife's pic being circulated and shown as Hathras victim: Man tells Court



The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has been directed by the Delhi High Court to act expeditiously on the complaint of a man, who has claimed that the photo of his deceased wife has been wrongly circulated as the victim of Hathras alleged gang-rape case.

An order passed by a single-judge bench of Justice Navin Chawla stated, "The respondent no. 1 (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology) is directed to look into the complaint of the petitioner and, if the complaint of the petitioner is found to be correct, act on the same expeditiously, in any case, within a period of three days from the receipt of (a) copy of this order, by issuing necessary directions to the respondent nos. 2 to 4 (Facebook, Twitter and Google) in this regard."

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The petitioner identified as Ajay Kumar said that the photograph of his deceased wife has been doing rounds on social media platforms where she has been wrongly depicted as the victim of a recent unfortunate incident where a young girl was allegedly gang-raped and murdered at Hathras in Uttar Pradesh.

The petitioner's counsel, during the hearing, had told the court that even otherwise, a revelation of the identity of the rape victim is an offence under the Indian Penal Code, though in the present matter, the image of a wrong person is in circulation.

Senior advocate Sajan Poovayya, appearing for social media giant Twitter, agreed that the petitioner can make a complaint to the National Crime Records Bureau and once the information regarding the offending URL is forwarded to Twitter through the proper channel referring to this court order, the same would be blocked/removed from the platform.

Advocates Neel Mason, Ridhima Pabbi and Ekta Sharma, appearing for Google, too made similar submissions, assuring action once the information regarding the URL of the offending content is forwarded to it through proper channel.

Further hearing on the issue will be held on November 9.