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SC seeks Centre's reply on plea for guidelines to protect identity of accused of sexual offences

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Press Trust of India New Delhi
The Supreme Court Monday agreed to hear a plea seeking guidelines to protect the identity, reputation and integrity of persons who are accused of sexual offences, till the investigation into the truthfulness on its veracity.
A bench comprising Justices S A Bobde and B R Gavai issued notices to the Centre and others on the plea which also sought a direction to the media to not disclose the identity of persons accused on allegations of sexual offences till completion of probe by the competent agency.
"Issue notice," the bench said, adding, "We will consider this".
The petition, filed by Youth Bar Association of India, has said that false accusation sometimes "destroy the entire life of an innocent person" and there have been instances where the accused, who has been falsely implicated, have even committed suicide.
"It does not only destroy an individual's life but creates a social stigma to the family members too. Need of the hour demands that some preventive measures must be taken so as to avoid and to deal with such situations in the interest of justice," the plea said.
The petition said it is well settled that a person is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
It said: "The allegations of sexual harassment tarnishes the image, repute and goodwill of such person/s in the society and it adversely affects his entire life in all terms even if, at later point of time he is found to be innocent.
"It is very unfortunate that once allegation has been levelled which might be false, fabricated, malicious and perhaps for an only intention to defame someone really serve the purpose accordingly and destroy the life of not only of an individual but also destroy the repute of his whole family," the petition said.

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First Published: Jul 29 2019 | 5:55 PM IST

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