New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has sought a response from the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) on a plea seeking FIR registration against Congress MP Rahul Gandhi in connection with his tweet, wherein he had allegedly revealed the identity of a minor Dalit girl, who was raped and murdered in 2021.
A division bench headed by Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma issued notice to NCPCR and asked for a counter-affidavit to be filed in four weeks’ time.
The bench also comprising Justice Sachin Datta listed the matter for the next hearing on July 27.
The NCPCR’s counsel claimed that they had not received a formal notice and urged the court to do so in order for them to be able to file an affidavit.
A 9-year-old girl had died under suspicious circumstances on August 1, 2021, with her parents alleging that she was raped, murdered and cremated by a crematorium’s priest in southwest Delhi’s Old Nangal village.
A social activist Makarand Suresh Mhadlekar had moved a plea in the High Court in 2021, alleging that Gandhi had violated the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act, 2012, which prohibits the identification of minors who have been sexually assaulted.
The NCPCR had earlier told the High Court that it wants to support and join the petitioner in the matter.
It had told the court that the offence of making such a disclosure still exists, despite Twitter’s claim that it had removed Gandhi’s tweet.
Sajan Poovayya, a senior lawyer representing Twitter, had argued that “nothing survived” in the petition because the contested post has been “geo-blocked” and is presently not accessible in India.
He added that Gandhi’s entire account was suspended by the social media platform but was later restored.
Nonetheless, the petitioner and the NCPCR’s counsel had argued that the offence still exists.