Post on minor’s identity deleted, Rahul Gandhi’s lawyer tells Delhi high court | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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Post on minor’s identity deleted, Rahul Gandhi’s lawyer tells Delhi high court

Jan 24, 2024 07:08 PM IST

A bench led by acting chief justice Manmohan disposed of the plea filed by social activist Makarand Suresh Mhadlekar taking note of the submissions by the Congress leader, the city police and social media platform X

New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Wednesday disposed of a petition seeking registration of a first information report (FIR) against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for revealing the identity of a minor, who was allegedly raped and murdered in 2021.

Delhi high court (Representative Photo)
Delhi high court (Representative Photo)

A bench led by acting chief justice Manmohan disposed of the plea filed by social activist Makarand Suresh Mhadlekar taking note of the submissions by the Congress leader, the city police and social media platform X (formerly, Twitter).

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Gandhi on Wednesday told the Delhi high court that he had “deleted his X (formerly Twitter) post”, wherein he revealed the identity of a nine-year-old Dalit girl.

Mhadlekar in his plea had contended that the act of posting the picture was an attempt to take political mileage out of the unfortunate incident.

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To be sure, last month the Congress leader had undertaken to delete the post after the high court’s nudge that the same needed to be taken down worldwide to protect it from being picked up by the press.

On Wednesday, Gandhi, appearing through advocate Tarannum Cheema, submitted that the post had been taken down internationally.

The Delhi police in its status report mentioned that the investigation in the FIR, which was registered against Gandhi, under section 23 POCSO Act and the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in September 2021, was under progress.

Disclosing the identity of a rape victim/survivor constitutes an offence under Section 228A of the IPC and is punishable with imprisonment of up to two years and a fine.

In the wake of the status report, the police appearing through Santosh Kumar Tripathi, requested the court to dispose of the plea, as the relief that Mhadlekar had sought, had been achieved.

He also added that the girl had died of electrocution and that there was no scientific evidence to suggest that it was a case of rape and murder.

Objecting to the submissions on the aspect of “girl’s death due to electrocution”, Mhadlekar, appearing through senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, submitted that the charge sheet which was filed by the police in 2021 mentioned the offences of gang rape and murder.

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National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) appearing through senior advocate Swarupama Chaturvedi while opposing the disposal, submitted that there was no point in investigating the offence since the leader had violated the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act and the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act by uploading the photo.

“Offence has been committed. There is no point in investigating that aspect,” she said, adding that the cops had failed to act against the leader even after three years of the incident.

Unimpressed by the counsel’s submissions, the bench at this juncture remarked that the police had registered an FIR against the Congress leader and would take action.

“At times they (police) have to investigate the offences which are on the face of it, but they have to do it in their own way. The FIR has been registered and the police will take action. What will we do? This plea has been achieved, as far as prayers are concerned,” a bench also comprising justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora said to senior advocate Chaturvedi.

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