Karnataka High Court orders to stop telecast of videos of disrobed victim

The court also directed the Advocate General to submit a status report of the disrobing incident on 14 December.


Published Dec 13, 2023 | 12:18 PMUpdatedDec 13, 2023 | 12:18 PM

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The High Court of Karnataka, on its own, took cognisance of news reports about a woman being paraded naked after her son eloped with a girl, who was to get engaged to someone else, and has ordered all electronic media not to telecast any videos related to the incident.

On coming to know about their 18-year-old daughter eloping with the woman’s son (aged 24), about 20 of her family members damaged the man’s house at around 12:30 am on Monday, 11 December in New Vantamuri village.

They then dragged his 55-year-old mother, who was alone at home, outside, paraded her naked and tied her to an electricity pole.

The court also directed the Advocate General to submit a status report of the incident on 14 December.

Court’s orders

The court took this step after noticing a photograph in one newspaper where the victim’s face was blurred but it also showed electronic media videographing the victim’s reactions.

The Division Bench said, “If any media house or its representatives has videographed the above interview of the victim during the visit of the Hon’ble minister or any such interaction by the victim, this court hereby directs not to telecast such an interview or interaction on any national or regional channel.”

“It is further made clear that if already such an interview is displayed or telecast in the electronic media, henceforth, there shall not be any display or telecast of the same,” the Division Bench, headed by Chief Justice Prasanna B Varale, said in its order on Tuesday.

Related: Lovers elope from Belagavi village; woman’s kin parade man’s mother naked

Not preventing news coverage: Court

The court, however, clarified that it is not preventing coverage of the news.

“We also make it clear that this interim direction is only with an object to ensure the dignity of the victim is maintained and her identity is not disclosed or revealed. We further make it clear that this court by this interim order is not even remotely prohibiting the media from covering the news as this court maintains and accepts the concept of freedom of the press,” it said.

Taking serious note of the incident, the Bench said, “The caption and contents of the aforesaid news articles not only shock our conscience but make us put our head down with anguish and pain in our hearts.”

It added, “On one hand, while this country is celebrating its 76th year of Independence as ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, on the other hand, in the state of Karnataka which is known for all valid reasons as a progressive State and a pioneer state of initiation of social justice way back even when it was a Princely State of Mysore, faces this incident.”

Also read: PM ‘pained, angered’ over mob parading women naked in Manipur

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