New Delhi: Failure of any person, including from media, to report a crime in which a minor is sexually assaulted is a serious offence and prompt action should be taken against such individuals, the Supreme Court has said.
"The non-reporting of the crime by anybody, after having come to know that a minor child below the age of 18 years was subjected to any sexual assault, is a serious crime," a bench of justices K S Radhakrishnan and Madan B Lokur said.
"By not reporting they are screening offenders from legal punishment and hence be held liable under the ordinary criminal law and prompt action be taken against them, in accordance with law," it said.
The apex court said that people have an obligation to provide information to the police about the crime under The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.
"Media personnel, persons in charge of Hotel, lodge, hospital, clubs, studios, photograph facilities have to duly comply with the provision of Section 20 of the Act and provide information to the local police. Media has to strictly comply with Section 23 of the Act as well," the bench said.
The court passed the order while commuting death sentence of a convict to life imprisonment in rape-cum-murder of a minor girl.