“Earlier, the presence of a single police constable was sufficient deterrent, but now nobody appears to be afraid,” a division bench of justice VM Kanade and justice PD Kode said.
The bench was suo motu (on its own) hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) on the safety of working women, especially those who had night shifts. The PIL was taken up after the same bench confirmed the death sentence of two persons on September 17 for raping and killing a BPO employee in Pune.
The apex court had in a November 30 verdict set out guidelines to deal with sexual harassment, public prosecutor Revati Mohite-Dere pointed out on Wednesday.
As an immediate measure to curtail sexual harassment in public places to a certain extent, the Supreme Court had directed all states to depute plainclothes women police officers at places such as bus stands, railway and metro stations, theatres, shopping malls, parks and places of worship and also install CCTV cameras at strategic locations in these places. Calling sexual harassment as horrid and disgusting, the apex court had also directed all state governments to set up, within three months, women helplines in various cities and towns to provide timely help to women in distress and arrest the culprits.