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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014

HC pulls up forces for 'disrespecting' women

Harish V Nair, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 09, 2012
First Published: 22:07 IST(9/12/2012) | Last Updated: 01:36 IST(10/12/2012)

The Delhi High Court has called for the strictest action against armed forces personnel who misbehave with women while in uniform, including removal from service. The court made the observation while upholding the dismissal of a central industrial security force personnel, Deepak Kumar, who had  passed lewd comments against a married women while in uniform.

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"The slightest deviant behaviour by men in uniform directed against the female sex cannot be countenanced. The government is called upon to take the toughest action against such personnel", ruled a bench of justice Pradeep Nandrajog and justice Manmohan Singh.

"No leniency can be shown to a force personnel, who in dress indulges in eve teasing. Only four days back the Supreme Court has issued directions to secure the safety of women in public places and who else would do so other than those who don the khaki uniform", noted the bench.

"The national emblem is worn on the dress by the men in khaki and they must realise the honour bestowed on them of being the only ones permitted by law to don the national emblem on their dress", the judges said dismissing Kumar's appeal against his dismissal.

The court said, "the testimony of the three prosecution witnesses who had confronted Kumar when the husband of the women…were baying for Kumar's blood and the fact that Kumar was hiding inside amply proves that he had confessed to have indulged in eve teasing."

The Supreme Court had on November 30 issued a long list of dos and don'ts to states and union territories to tackle sexual harassment of women in public places. Terming it a violation of women's fundamental right to live with dignity, the SC asked states and union territories to deploy women cops in plainclothes and install CCTV cameras at public places.

The high court was shocked by the fact that security personnel themselves were indulging in eve teasing and a higher number of cases of personnel sacked for misbehaving with women were coming before it.

In August, the same bench had upheld the dismissal of two personnel involved in such serious indiscipline in separate cases.

In one of those cases, a BSF jawan Sumed Singh had tried to molest a woman by breaking into her house adjacent to his barrack in a drunken state.


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