HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014

Mumbai no longer safe for women, indicates HC; spotlight on web

Hindustan Times  Mumbai, July 01, 2014
First Published: 10:15 IST(1/7/2014) | Last Updated: 13:05 IST(1/7/2014)

The ease of access to offensive content on the internet is probably the reason for increasing crimes against women, the Bombay high court (HC) said on Monday, and suggested a ban on such material.

“Nowadays, offending material is easily available even to children on (the) internet and probably, that is the reason behind increasing offences against women,” said a division bench of justice VM Kanade and justice PD Kode. “It should be banned,” they said.

The judges on Monday mentioned several heinous crimes against women and said the state government is expected to come out with a comprehensive policy for their protection.

The judges indicated that Mumbai was no longer safe for women.

The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) taken up suo motu after the HC, in 2012, confirmed the death sentence handed out two men who raped and killed a 22-year-old Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) employee in Pune.

On November 1, 2007, the woman was raped and brutally killed by the driver of the vehicle engaged by her company to drop her home at night after work. The other convict was his friend.

After the incident, the HC had taken up the issue of the safety of women at the workplace, especially those who work late in the evening or on night shifts.

The court had earlier directed the state to file an affidavit on the steps it had taken, to comply with directions issued by the Supreme Court to all state governments on November 30, 2012, to effectively deal with eveteasing cases.

The SC had found that there was no legislation to deal with the menace. The SC had laid down guidelines to governments to install closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras at strategic locations in public spaces, depute plainclothes women police officers at railway stations, bus stops, among others to keep a check on harassment of women, and for public transport vehicles to be directed to the nearest police station, if a woman passenger complains of eve-teasing.

The judges had sought to know if the state had undertaken any exercise to sensitise drivers and conductors of transport undertakings.

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