The Kerala High Court quashed proceedings against two nuns accused of revealing the identity of a rape survivor.
The petitioners are nuns. The prosecution allegation is that the petitioners published a photo of the victim involved in a case under Section 376 of the IPC disclosing her identity. This petition has been filed on the ground that, even if the entire allegations against the petitioners are believed in its entirety, no offence under Section 228A of the IPC is made out.
Alex Joseph, submitted that the e-mail allegedly sent by the petitioners to three media persons is a private communication between two persons and not a publication so as to bring it within Section 228A of the IPC.
Public Prosecutor contended that, even a private communication between two individuals, that too with media persons, disclosing the identity of the victim would fall within the ambit of Section 228A of the IPC.
The single judge bench of Justice Kauser Edappagath noted that it is clear that the report sent by the petitioners through e-mail to three media persons was meant for publication. However, in the said report, the name or identity of the victim is not disclosed at all. Therefore, the contents of the report as such do not fall within Section 228A of the IPC.
The court viewed that it is only a private communication between two persons. The circumstance shows that there was no intention on the part of the petitioners to disclose the identity of the victim involved in a sexual offence to the public at large or even to a third party.
The court said that no purpose will be served in proceeding with the case against the petitioners further and all further proceedings against the petitioners in the Crime of Kuravilangadu Police Station are quashed.
Case title: Sister Amala and Ors. v/s State of Kerala and Ors.
Citation: CRL.MC NO. 1184 OF 2022