Need for concrete, permanent step to address women’s safety at work and public places: Bombay HC | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Need for concrete, permanent step to address women’s safety at work and public places: Bombay HC

Mumbai city news: “Merely issuing circulars, GRs and creating helplines will not be sufficient,” the bench said

mumbai Updated: Jul 05, 2017 00:54 IST
Kanchan Chaudhari
The court was hearing a bunch of public interest litigations, including one taken suo-motu (on its own motion) by the court, raising issues concerning the safety of working women, women commuting on suburban trains in Mumbai and also the issue of sexual harassment of women at workplace.
The court was hearing a bunch of public interest litigations, including one taken suo-motu (on its own motion) by the court, raising issues concerning the safety of working women, women commuting on suburban trains in Mumbai and also the issue of sexual harassment of women at workplace.

While expressing the need to take concrete and permanent steps to ensure woman’s safety at workplaces and public places, the Bombay high court on Tuesday directed the additional chief secretary of the state home department to furnish details of action taken by the government.

“Everything appears on paper hunky-dory…like Ramrajya,” said the division bench of justice RM Savant and justice Sadhana Jadhav, while commenting on the earlier disclosures of the home department on the various steps taken to safeguard women. “We are not concerned with what appears on paper, we are concerned with the ground reality,” said the judges, adding, “There shall not be mere lip service.” 

The court was hearing a bunch of public interest litigations, including one taken suo-motu (on its own motion) by the court, raising issues concerning the safety of working women, women commuting on suburban trains in Mumbai and also the issue of sexual harassment of women at workplace. 

The comment came after assistant public prosecutor Prajakta Shinde pointed out various circulars and government resolutions instructing police to respond promptly in such cases. She also pointed out that helplines have been provided for and patrolling is being regularly undertaken. 

“Merely issuing circulars, GRs and creating helplines will not be sufficient,” the bench said, suggesting the state should also try private participation in its attempts to safeguard women. “This is not possible without private participation,” the judges said, adding that so many young women are now working in the private sector in Maharashtra and it was necessary to safeguard them. 

The court has now directed the additional chief secretary, home, to file, by August 1, an affidavit stating what actual steps have been taken by the government, especially to prevent incidents of harassments at public places, while commuting on buses, trains or in rickshaws or cabs. He has also been ordered to disclose what direction the state government seeks to give the private sector to prevent sexual harassment of women at workplaces.