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Never glorify rapists, don't hurt victims' feeling: Delhi woman panel to govt agencies

The Delhi Commission For Women on Sunday cautioned all government agencies against glorifying any rapist or a person convicted of any crime against women in their publicity materials or otherwise and ensure that victims' feelings are never hurt.

All government agencies must monitor their functioning to ensure that under no circumstance they glorify a rapist and hurt the feelings of 'Nirbhayas' across the country," said DCW Chairperson Swati Maliwal.

The DCW's note of caution followed days after a Punjab State Election Commission had ended up using the photograph of a convict of the infamous 2002 Delhi gangrape case in its hoardings for educating electors to cast their votes, triggering an outrage.

Following the inadvertent use of convict Mukesh Singh as its "poster boy" on its hoardings on voters' education, the DCW had issued a notice to the poll panel, seeking its explanation on the embarrassing error.

In its subsequent reply to the DCW's notice, the poll panel rued the error, and assuring it that the mistake will never be repeated, said it has now directed that none of its publicity material should be cleared in future by an official below the rank of the district election officer.

In its reply, the Election Commission said it has directed "all chief electoral officers of states and Union territories to be very careful in selecting visuals for the posters, banners and advertisements etc".

"Directions have also been issued to ensure that, in future, all publicity materials in electoral campaigns, which may carry images of any person, approval should be given by an officer not below the rank of district election officer, the EC said in its reply.

The caption issued by the Election Commission of India should be printed only on such publicity material, where the prior permission of the Commission has been obtained, the reply added.

The DCW had issued a notice to the Election Commission of India on July 22 following depiction of 'Nirbhaya' rape convict as a model citizen in the Punjab poll panel's hoarding.

The DCW had issued the notice after 'Nirbhaya's' mother had met the panel chief Swati Maliwal.

The women's commission notice had pointed out to the poll panel that a picture was being circulated on social media wherein the photograph of one of the key convicts in the Nirbhaya' gang rape and murder case was displayed as brand ambassador' on official hoardings of the Punjab State Election Commission in January this year.

The EC, in its reply, also told the DCW that an inquiry was conducted subsequently and three persons the Election Tehsildar, Hoshiarpur, an accountant who finalised the poster and the proprietor of the printing press -- were found responsible for the lapse.

The Election Tehsildar was suspended on July 23 and a departmental proceeding was initiated against the accountant as well.

The poll panel added that an FIR too was registered on July 24 against the proprietor of the printing press.