More than two years after the Supreme Court ordered all states and union territories to deploy women cops in plain clothes and install CCTV cameras at public places, women’s safety remains a far cry.
Women have to fend for themselves as most of the eight-point order of the top court to tackle molestation of women at public places has not been implemented.
The only direction that appears to have been fully implemented is establishing Women’s Helpline in various cities and towns.
Calling it a violation of women’s fundamental right to live with dignity, a bench headed by justice KS Radhakrishnan (since retired) had issued these directions on November 30, 2012, saying consequences of the menace were at times “disastrous” as the victims committed suicide.
“The experiences of women and girl children in over-crowded buses, metros, trains etc are horrendous and a painful ordeal….it is necessary to take at least some urgent measures so that it can be curtailed to some extent,” the bench had said.
Suitable boards cautioning against eve-teasing have be exhibited in all public places including precincts of educational institutions, bus stops, railway stations, cinema theatres, parties, beaches, public service vehicles and places of worship, it had said.
But it’s clear from the HT-C fore survey that most women don’t feel safe at public places and in buses and the Metro since they constantly face harassment.
The SC had ordered that persons in-charge of educational institutions, places of worship, cinema theatres, railway stations, bus-stops had to take steps to prevent eve-teasing and must pass on the complaint to the nearest police station or the Women’s Help Centre.
If any incident of eve-teasing was committed in a public service vehicle, the crew must take the vehicle to the nearest police station and give information to the police, it had said.
However, despite the SC’s order that failure to do so should lead to cancellation of the vehicle’s permit to ply, it’s being followed only in extreme cases such as the Uber rape case.
The order to states and union territories to issue suitable instructions to District Collectors and Superintendents of Police to take effective and proper measures to curb eve-teasing just remains on paper as the number of molestation cases rise across India.