The Meghalaya High Court has clarified that Section 23 of the POCSO Act holds individuals responsible for revealing a minor’s identity when reporting or contributing to news.

Title: Shri Eric Ranee & 2 Ors. Vs. State of Meghalaya & Anr

Decided on: 06.10.2023

Writ C No. – 79 of 2023

CORAM: Hon’ble Mr. B. Bhattacharjee, Judge.


Three petitioners contested their participation as co-accused in a case involving the disclosure of a child victim’s identity in violation of the POCSO Act in the Meghalaya High Court’s case Crl. Petn. No. 79 of 2023. They contended that they were exempt from liability under Section 23(3) of the POCSO Act because they were social workers and media correspondents.

 After weighing their arguments, the court maintained their criminal liability, ruling that news reporters and contributors are covered by Section 23 of the POCSO Act. The case pertained to the construal and implementation of child protection statutes concerning the revelation of victims’ identities in the press.


The Meghalaya High Court decided in Crl. Petn. No. 79 of 2023 that three petitioners might face criminal charges under the POCSO Act for their roles in revealing a child victim’s identity to the media. Their claim that they were exempt from liability because they weren’t employed by the relevant newspapers was denied by the court. The case made clear how crucial it is to shield child abuse victims’ identities from the public eye.



The court stressed how crucial it is to preserve the identity of minors who have been sexually abused by interpreting Section 23 of the POCSO Act to include news reporters and contributors. The need to protect the identities of child victims and the legal and moral obligations of news reporters are highlighted by this case.

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Written by- Kusuma R

Meghalaya Hc (4)

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