(1) Whoever, 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 376-A, Section 376-B, Section 376-C or Section 376-D is alleged or found to have been committed (hereinafter 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.
(2) Nothing in sub-section (1) extends to any printing or publication of the name or any matter which makes 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 the authorisation in writing of, the victim; or
(c) 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 Secretary, by whatever name called, of any recognised welfare institution or organization.
For the purposes of this sub-section, “recognised welfare institution or organization” means a social welfare institution or organization recognised in this behalf by the Central or State Government.
(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.
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.
This section intends to punish those persons who print or publish without any lawful authority the identity of a victim of rape. This new section has been inserted keeping in view the peculiar nature of the offence of rape.
The offence is such that it attaches a social stigma to the victim. Result is that neither the victim nor her kith and kins come forward to give evidence in the case of rape. Therefore, the law has been amended and under Section 327 of the Code of Criminal Procedure provision for in camera inquiry and trial of the offence of rape has been made. It is also provided that it will be unlawful to print or publish such in camera proceedings without the authority of the Court.
The requirements of this section are as follows—
(a) Printing or publishing the name or any other matter, and
(b) Such printing or publication should make known the identity of a victim of rape, and
(c) Such printing or publication is without lawful authority.
Printing or publication of the proceedings of a Court in the offence of rape is also prohibited except with the permission of the Court. But the explanation exempts the printing or publishing of the judgment of a High Court or of Supreme Court.