The Supreme Court on Friday 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 as violation of women’s fundamental right to live with dignity, a bench headed by Justice KS Radhakrishnan asked states and union territories to deploy women cops in plain clothes and install CCTV cameras at public places.
It said, “State governments and union territories are directed to establish women’s helpline in various cities and towns, so as to curb eve-teasing within three months.”
Lauding the SC order, senior counsel Geeta Luthra, however, said, “Even after the 1997 SC guidelines for protection of women from sexual harassment at the workplace, they continue to be harassed and the bill on the issue is still pending.”
The bench, setting aside an order of the Madras HC that had reinstated a policeman dismissed for misbehaving with a woman in 1999, noted that there was no central law to curb harassment of women.
The bench said, “The experiences of women and girl children in overcrowded buses, metros, trains etc are horrendous and a painful ordeal. It is necessary to take some urgent measures so that it can be curtailed.”
The order said those who run education institutions, places of worship, cinema theatres, railway stations and bus stands must pass on harassment complaints to the nearest police station or women’s help centres.