Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court Friday ordered Youtube, Facebook and Twitter to remove all posts from their platforms which disclosed the identity of a three-year-old victim of rape in Bandipora district of the state.
A division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Tashi Rabstan also issued notices to five Kashmir valley-based newspapers for disclosing the young girl's identity.
"We forthwith direct the Youtube, Facebook and Twitter to remove all materials, posts or publications which tend to disclose the identity and name of the infant victim of the sexual violence in the May 8, 2019 incident in the Bandipora district and to ensure that no such material is uploaded on their channels, the bench said.
The court gave the direction after it was apprised by amicus curiae Farah Bashir of the photos and screen-shots displaying the victim's pictures on Youtube and circulated on Twitter and Facebook.
The court earlier on May 15 had sought from amicus curiae Bashir to submit a report to it on the print and electronic media publications identifying the minor victim of the sexual violence.
In her report, Bashir named five publications which allegedly disclosed the victim's name and identity.
"The Registry shall also issue court notice without process fee to the five newspapers to show cause as to why action be not taken against them for the violations of section 23 of the POCSO Act committed by them," said the court in its order, seeking newspapers' replies by May 28.
The court also directed the state's Information Department to place before it a report on measures taken by them to comply with the provisions of section 44 of the J-K POCSO Act, which requires the government to make wide publicity of the provisions of the law aimed at curbing the violence against children.
After issuing the notices, the court listed the matter for next hearing on May 28.
The state high court had taken suo moto cognizance of the May 8 rape of the three-year-old girl in Bandipora on Wednesday.
The court had also directed the inspector general of police (Kashmir zone) to file a status report by Friday, which was placed before the court by senior Additional Advocate General B A Dar in a sealed cover.
The young girl was allegedly raped by her neighbour, leading to widespread outrage and protests against the incident. The accused has been arrested by police, which has set up a special investigation team for a speedy probe into the incident.