The District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) has constituted a team of women advocates who will present themselves at police stations when victims of sexual assault record their statements.
The DLSA has directed the authorities to implement the scheme which makes it mandatory for the station house officer (SHO) or the concerned police officer to call up the deputed lawyer every time a woman has to file her statement.
DLSA has roped in around 35 women lawyers practicing in Gurgaon district courts. These advocates will be assigned separate police stations and will be available 24x7.
“We will soon publish a list of these lawyers’ names and phone numbers in newspapers. We will also hand out their details to all the police stations,” said DLSA chairman and Gurgaon district and sessions judge Bharat Bhushan Prasoon.
There are 27 police stations in Gurgaon district. These lawyers will be paid Rs. 500 per case for attending investigations, remand and committal proceedings. They will also be entitled to travelling expenses -- Rs. 100 up to 20 km, Rs. 150 up to 40 km, Rs. 200 up to 60 km and Rs. 250 up to 80 km.
The scheme has been launched in line with a 1995 SC order requiring legal representation for complainants of sexual assault. The order was passed by the then chief justice MN Venkatachaliah on a petition filed by Delhi Domestic Working Women’s Forum.
According to the SC order, victims of sexual assault shall be given legal assistance at police stations as they might be in a distressed state.