The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Centre and Information and Broadcasting Ministry on two petitions seeking a direction for framing of guidelines to protect the identity, reputation and integrity of an individual accused of sexual offence till completion of the investigation.
A division bench comprising Justices Sharad Arvind Bobde and B R Gavai asked the respondents to file a detailed reply on the pleas.
"We seek a detailed reply from the respondents, including the Union government and others," the court said.
The pleas have been filed by lawyer Reepak Kansal and the Youth Bar Association of India (YBAI).
The YBAI has submitted that a sexual harassment charge tarnishes the image, reputation and goodwill of a person in the society and it adversely affects his entire life even if the accused is found to be innocent later.
The petition, filed by advocates Sanpreet Singh Ajm and Kuldeep Rai on behalf of the YBAI, also stated that guidelines must also be formulated to protect the integrity of the person alleged to have committed such a crime.
The lawyers pleaded for a direction to the media (print, electronic and social) to not to disclose the identity of such a person until the crime is investigated by a competent agency.
"It is well settled that a person is presumed to be innocent until he is proven guilty but nowadays, the moment an allegation of such a nature is levelled and it is published in the media, the person loses his integrity in the society, the petition stated.
"That person also suffers the loss of his hard-earned repute, image and goodwill in the society, which cannot be compensated in any manner whatsoever," the petition added.
( With inputs from ANI )