While Union Minister of State of Human Resources Shashi Tharoor wants to reveal the identity of the 23-year-old Delhi braveheart and says the proposed anti-rape law should be named after her, the law of the land states that the identity of a rape victim cannot be disclosed and those guilty of doing so face punishment under Section 228-A of the Indian Penal Code.
According to the law anyone publishing the name of a rape victim is liable to be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years and shall also be liable to fine.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Home Affairs sources say that there is no provision in the Indian Penal Code of naming a law after a person.
What the law says:
Under the Indian Penal Code Section 228-A (Disclosure of identity of the victim of certain offences etc)
Sub Section (1): Whoever prints or publishers the name or any matter which may make known the identity of any person against whom an offence under section 376, section 376A, section 376B, section 376C, or section 376D is alleged or found to have been committed (hereafter in this section referred to as the victim) shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years and shall also be liable to fine.
Sub Section (2): Nothing in sub-section (1) extends to any printing or publication of the name or any matter which may make known the identity of the victim if such printing or publication is:-
(a) By or under the order in writing of the officer-in-charge of the police station or the police officer making the investigation into such offence acting in good faith for the purposes of such investigation; or
(b) By, or with authorization in writing of, the victim; or
(c) Where the victim is dead or minor or of unsound mind, by, or with the authorization in writing of, the next of kin of the victim:
Provided that no such authorization shall be given by the next of kin to anybody other than the chairman or the secretary, by whatever name called, of any recognized welfare institution or organization.
Explanation:- For the purpose of this section, "recognized welfare institution or organization" means a social welfare institution or organization recognized in this behalf by the Central or State Government.
Sub Section (3): Whoever prints or publishes any matter in relation to any proceeding before a court with respect to an offence referred to in sub-section (1) without the previous permission of such court shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years and shall also be liable to fine.
Explanation: - The printing or publication of the judgment of any High Court or the Supreme Court does not amount to an offence within the meaning of this section.