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Kerala HC orders FIR against ex-DGP for revealing rape victim’s identity in book

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Kochi, June 13: The Kerala High Court has directed the registration of an FIR against the now-retired Director General of Police (DGP), Siby Mathews for allegedly disclosing the identity of a rape victim in his book titled ‘Nirbhayam’.

The court pointed out, “Even though the name of the victim was not specifically disclosed, the details of the parents of the victim, the place where the victim and parents resided, and the school where the victim studied, were disclosed in detail. This disclosure prima facie shows the commission of an offence punishable under Section 228A of the IPC.”

The court acted on a petition filed by K.K. Joshua who had earlier registered a complaint with a local police station in the state capital and the district police chief.

The petitioner then approached the High Court which asked the concerned authorities to consider the complaint. As he did not get a favourable response, he was forced to come before the court asking for directions for the police to register an FIR.

The court after hearing all the sides said, “The reference to the victim as ‘peedippikkapetta penkutti’ (molested girl) alongside detailed personal information unmistakably identifies her as the rape victim mentioned in the book,” the court said.

It further added, “Therefore, the remedy of a person when his grievance, by filing or informing materials which would suggest a cognizable offence, if not acted upon by the Police Officer and the Police Superintendent is normally to approach the Magistrate seeking an investigation under Section 156(3) CrPC or else could approach the Magistrate for an enquiry permitted under Section 202 CrPC by filing a private complaint. However, it is well settled that the power of a constitutional court to order investigation is not taken away because of the availability of alternative remedy in an appropriate case of this nature where the accused is none other than former DGP of the Kerala State,” the court added.

It directed the police to register an FIR and conduct a thorough investigation in compliance with the Lalitha Kumari judgment.

Mathews, who took voluntary retirement from service, was later appointed the chief information officer.

–IANS

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