NEW DELHI: An Indian court on Wednesday ordered 12 media companies to pay $15,000 each to a compensation fund for victims of sexual violence after they published the name of an eight-year-old girl who was gang raped and murdered.
Indian law prohibits the naming of rape victims, even after they have died, because of the stigma attached to the crime. The New Delhi High Court ordered each firm to pay one million rupees within a week to be used for a compensation scheme for sexual assault victims.The law provides for a jail term of two years along with a fine in case of violations.
The name of the child, who was killed in Jammu and Kashmir state and has since become the focus of national protests over rape cases in India, was used by several media outlets before a court ordered a clampdown last Friday.
Lawyers for the media firms told the court the mistake happened due to their ignorance of the law and a misconception that they could name her as she was dead, Press Trust of India reported.