Heinous crimes like rape on women not only affect the dignity of the victim but also their privacy rights if their identity is disclosed to the public. The legal provisions relating to rape in India clearly provide that the identity of the rape victim must be protected and the law also imposes penalties on the person who makes the identity of the victim known to the public. However, there are exceptions to this, which states that if the officer in-charge, the victim or the next of kin of the victim gives their consent in writing, the identity of the rape victim can be made public which can result in arbitrary and complete discretionary decisions taken by them, which may go against the interests of the victim in question. The idea behind protecting the interests of the public when it is conflicting with the interests of the private individuals should not be applicable here, as the public might want to know the identity. The pain that is inflicted on a victim of a heinous crime is so much that if the identity too is disclosed to the public, the victim suffers a greater harm as her right to privacy along with her dignity gets violated.
The interests of the victim should be given paramount importance and unless the victim himself or herself does not clearly consent to their identity being disclosed, the opinion of the officer-in-charge or the next of kin of the victim should not be taken into consideration.
The authors in this paper will focus on the rights of the victims of heinous crimes and their right to privacy and shall also take the help of various judicial pronouncements, which will substantiate the above.