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Revealing the identity of children in cases of sexual offenses is a punishable offense

Purushottam Joshi for CNI News

In cases of sexual offenses against children, revealing their identity is a violation of section 23 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act (POCSO Act) and a punishable offence. Violation of this can lead to imprisonment from 06 months to 01 year or fine or both. The Chhattisgarh State Child Rights Protection Commission has recommended the Superintendents of Police to take appropriate action on revealing the identity of children in such cases through several newspapers, electronic media, web news portals.

Taking immediate cognizance in such cases, the commission has asked to inform the commission by registering a case without delay and taking action against the culprits as per the rules, in case the identity of the child is exposed in the news published or broadcast. The Commission has written a letter to the Public Relations Department to draw the attention of the media to this and recommend action in such cases as per rules.

In the letter issued by the Commission, it has been told that in Section 23 (2) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act 2012, there is a provision that any report from any media, including the identity of the child, including his name, address, photo picture, family details, Shall not disclose the school, neighborhood or any other particulars that would lead to the disclosure of the identity of the child. Failing to do so, Section 23 (4) shall be punishable with imprisonment of any kind, which shall not be less than 6 months, but which may extend to 01 year, or with fine, or with both.

The Chhattisgarh State Child Protection Commission has clarified that the identity cannot be revealed in any way in case of sexual offenses against children. The incidents of publishing names, photos etc. of organizations through newspapers, electronic media, web portals or other media are decreasing. The Commission has recommended under the Child Rights Protection Commission Act with a view to prevent the above incidents and to provide a safe and friendly environment to the children.

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