Union minister Shashi Tharoor Monday favoured making public the identity of the 23-year-old gangrape victim wondering what interest is served by keeping her name under wraps.
The Minister of State for Human Resource Development also said the revised anti-rape legislation should be named after the victim if her parents do not have any objection. “Wondering what interest is served by continuing anonymity of #DelhGangRape victim. Why not name & honour her as a real person w/own identity?” he asked on micro-blogging site Twitter. “Unless her parents object, she should be honoured & the revised anti-rape law named after her. She was a human being w/a name, not just a symbol.”
Under the law, the identity of a rape victim cannot be disclosed and printing or publishing the name or any matter which may make known the identity of any person against whom rape is committed is an offence under section 228-A of Indian Penal Code.
Meanwhile, the BJP termed Tharoor’s tweet as a “needless diversion”.
“This is the time for making a strong law against rape without any delay. Naming or keeping the victim’s identity a secret is not the main issue here. The media, politicians and the society are following the Supreme Court guidelines on the matter at the moment. Tharoor should emphasise on passing the law at the earliest,” BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said.
The main opposition party maintained that the US and other countries may have provisions where the name of the victim can be revealed with the family’s consent but “that should not be our concern now and it can be debated later. Hussain insisted that till any decision is reached the victim’s identity be kept a secret.