The Supreme Court today issued a notice to the Centre on a petition seeking to frame guidelines for protecting the identity of undertrials accused in rape cases till the completion of trial or until proven guilty.
A bench of Justices SA Bobde and BR Gavai was hearing a public suit filed by advocate Reepak Kansal seeking the court's intervention to protect the dignity of men facing false charges of sexual harassment.
"It is a respectful submission that the cardinal principle of criminal law i.e. presumption of innocence until proven guilty contemplates that a person who is accused in a trial is innocent till the completion of trial until otherwise proven guilty which itself shows that the identity of the accused should not get tarnished as if it is revealed then the purpose of aforesaid principle will get defeated," the plea read.
Mentioning that word "accused" is itself a derogatory nomenclature, he sought to address the men facing trial in such case as "alleged accused".
He also said that the criminal law regarding sexual accusations needs some preventive measures to save innocents from false allegations.
"The confidentiality of the victim also will be protected more. If the name and position of the accused is published, then the identity of the victim can be leaked easily," the advocate said in his plea.
He also requested the court to issue directions to give punishment to complainants who make false allegations.
He said that "the purpose of the law is to give lawful justice and compensation for the real victims and not for the people who want to ride the law for their personal revenge and benefits."
He raised the issue that no one discusses about the dignity and honour of a man as all are only fighting for the rights, honour and dignity of women.
He said that there is no law or guideline to protect a man from being prosecuted and implicated in false cases.
"...it is not possible to restore the dignity and honour of the accused nor compensate him for the humiliation, misery, distress and monetary loss due to false accusation," the plea said.
Therefore he requested the top court to direct governments to frame the guidelines to protect the identity of undertrials and to restrict the discussion, debate and observations made by electronic and print media and social websites till the completion of trial.
He has also sought to award compensation to undertrials who are acquitted by trial courts in false cases.
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