Rahul Gandhi’s POCSO case is shared with misleading narratives!

Claim

Rahul Gandhi has a POCSO Case against him. Think before you vote!

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Explanation

As the Lok Sabha elections draw near, social media is flooded with numerous accusations made against one another by both parties in the form of pictures and videos.

In this case, an image showing a POCSO case sheet booked under the name of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is circulating on the internet. This image is shared with a claim stating, “Rahul Gandhi has a POCSO Case against him. Think before you vote.” You can view similar claim posts here, here, and here.

What’s the truth?

We started our analysis with a relevant keyword search, which led us to an article by Hindustan Times from March 2023. The article reported that social activist Makarand Suresh Mhadlekar filed a petition in 2021 alleging that the Congress leader had posted the victim’s parents’ photo online in violation of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 and the POCSO Act, 2012. A case under POCSO Act was also registered against Rahul Gandhi.

In August 2021, a 9-year old Dalit girl was allegedly raped and killed by a priest, Radhey Shyam, and his three accomplices (Kuldeep Singh, Salim Ahmad and Laxmi Narayan). Her family alleged that they cremated her body after raping and killing her. This incident sparked protests demanding justice. Rahul Gandhi met the parents of the girl and a photo of this meeting was posted on his Twitter account.

We searched further and came across the latest updates from the case. As per the Bar and Bench report, Rahul Gandhi, the leader of the Congress, informed the Delhi High Court on Wednesday that he had deleted his 2021 tweet that purportedly identified the 9-year-old rape victim.
In support of Gandhi, advocate Tarannum Cheema stated that the tweet had already been removed internationally and was being withheld in India. Twitter’s attorney confirmed the statement.

All of this information makes it clear that Rahul Gandhi is the subject of a POCSO Act case. However, this was brought about by the fact that he broke the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act of 2015, as well as the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act of 2012, by revealing the identity of a minor rape victim on social media.

When we accessed Rahul Gandhi’s affidavit, we could see the details of the mentioned POCSO case. The offence is described as “alleged disclosure of identity of parents of minor rape victm girl on the Twitter handle of the candidate”. Further, it says that Rahul Gandhi is not aware of the details in the FIR as it was submitted in a sealed cover.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, while it is true that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is the subject of a POCSO case, the real reason for the case is not adequately stated despite its viral nature. In actuality, he was charged with a crime after revealing on social media the identities of a young victim of sexual assault and her parents. Sadly, this case is being used to falsely implicate him in a rape. Therefore, the viral claims are misleading.

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Indu Meenakshi

Indu Meenakshi is a former Microbiologist-turned-journalist, works as a Sub-Editor at YouTurn. She additionally holds Master’s in Management and English Literature. As a fact-checker, her job entails actively dispelling false information found online, exposing fake news, and raising public awareness.
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