HC reminds govt of apex court guidelines

The Bombay High Court (HC), taking up suo motu PIL on women's safety last month, had reiterated directions given earlier by the Supreme Court to states and Union Territories to curb eveteasing.

Even as the High Court had recently upheld the death sentence of the two accused in the gang-rape and murder of a BPO employee, the court had converted the recommendations made by public prosecutor Revati Mohite-Dere into a PIL.

Hearing the PIL, the court reiterated the eight directions given by the Supreme Court on November 30, 2012 to the government. The court had directed all the state governments and union territories to depute plain-clothed female police in public places like malls, cinema halls, railway and metro stations, bus stops and so on, install closed circuit television cameras at strategic positions to act as deterrents, and ensure that persons in-charge of places of worship, cinema theatres, bus stands and railway stations take steps to prevent eve-teasing and pass on any information of such incidences on their premises to the Women's Help Centre.

The court had also directed that any public service vehicle be diverted to the nearest police station if there are any complaints of such incidents in the vehicle, failing which the vehicle will

lose its permit to ply.

It has also said that women's helplines be established in cities and towns within three months to address complaints of eve-teasing and issue suitable instructions to district collectors, and superintendents of police to take effective measures to curb eve-teasing.

Before issuing these guidelines, the SC had observed, "The Parliament is currently considering the Protection of Women against Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill, 2010, which is intended to protect women workers. Provisions of that Bill are not sufficient to curb eve-teasing....In public interest, we are therefore inclined to give these directions." According to Revati Mohite-Dere, the PIL will now come up for hearing later this month.

... contd.

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