At times media as a whole and media personnel in general are becoming over enthusiastic in the matters concerning the identity of the victim of certain offences, forgetting the very fact that there is a vast difference between the convicted and the accused. Section 228A of IPC is relevant in this matter. Each and every media personnel are supposed to know what the Indian Penal Code Section 228 A talks about.
Indian Penal Code 228AWhoever prints or publishes 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 shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years and shall also be liable to fine.
Also, the section 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:
- 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
- by, or with the authorisation in writing of, the victim; or
- where the victim is dead or minor or of unsound mind, by, or with the authorisation in writing of, the next of kin of the victim: Provided that no such authorisation shall be given by the next of kin to anybody other than the chairman or the secretary, by whatever name called, of any recognised welfare institution or organisation. Explanation for the purposes of this sub-section, “recognised welfare institution or organisation” means a social welfare institution or organisation recognised in this behalf by the Central or State Government.
- 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.
Media personnel dealing with specific issues need to understand the ethics and laws concerning the media. The importance of the ethics and law are realised only when something becomes a serious issue. It’s the need of the hour that the media should follow the same ethics which were followed by the Indian renowned journalists during the freedom struggle and thereafter, for quite sometime.