Hathras case: Amit Malviya tweets video of victim; NCW chief says action is illegal if she is a rape victim

A video shared by BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya revealing the identity of the Hathras rape victim has evoked sharp reactions from the National Commission for Women and the Congress.

Malviya had shared the video, in which the face of the rape victim is clearly visible, on 2 October on Twitter. As of Sunday morning, the tweet is still on the micro-blogging platform.

National Commission for Women chairperson Rekha Sharma has been quoted as saying by The Indian Express, "If she is a rape victim, then the incident of tweeting the video is really very unfortunate and is also absolutely illegal."

The chairperson of the Uttar Pradesh State Commission for Women Vimla Batham also told the newspaper that she had not seen the video, but if it disclosed the woman’s identity, it was “definitely objectionable.” Batham was reported to have said that the commission would take cognizance and serve Malviya a notice.

Congress leader Radhika Khera also reacted to the tweet, and said, "Only a man with a cheap, shameless and narrow mindset can be the president of BJP's IT cell. This abusive man has proved it once again."

Malviya subsequently retweeted a post by BJP leader Priti Gandhi which read—

Section 228A(1) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) bans the disclosing of the identity of a rape victim. While the NCW chief said that Malviya's tweet is illegal "if she is a rape victim", the law applies both in cases where rape has been "alleged" and where the crime is "found to have been committed."

The FIR in the Hathras case has invoked 376-D of the IPC (which deals with gang rape) against the accused.

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