Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said the media worldwide should reflect on issues surrounding the BBC gangrape documentary like whether a media organisation should allow its platform to be used by a rapist to justify his innocence.
Asked by reporters here to give his view on the ban imposed by the Indian government on Leslee Udwin’s documentary ‘India’s Daughter’, he said the matter was in court.
“The Home Ministry and Parliament had a certain view which was expressed. Without getting into the issue because it has been challenged in the court and let the court decide this, I will only mention two points to be borne in mind by anyone who wants to produce any film on these causes,” he said.
Jaitley pointed out to a provision under Section 228A of the Indian Penal Code, which came into force following the Justice Verma Committee report, to prohibit the naming and showing any photograph of the rape victim.
“Secondly, it is a question for the media itself to debate whether during the pendency of the appeal, a media organisation should allow its platform to be used by a rapist to justify why he is not guilty.
“My understanding of the English law is that on both these counts in a sub-judice matter with the appeal pending, a media forum may not have been made available to the accused to justify his innocence,” Jaitley said.
He made a direct link with the comments of one of the rapists filmed in the documentary, Mukesh Singh, who had claimed he was at the wheel and hence “not part of the act”.
“These are the two crucial issues on which I would like the media itself to reflect on,” the Minister said.