While the state government has accepted several recommendations of a committee on women’s safety, the Bombay high court (HC) on Tuesday sought to know how some of them were being implemented.
A division bench of justice AS Oka and justice AS Gadkari was hearing a bunch of public interest litigations on the women’s safety, including the one based on a Hindustan Times report. A committee headed by retired justice SC Dharmadhikari had submitted five interim reports with recommendations to ensure the security of women.
The state government had earlier informed the court that 109 of 144 recommendations had been accepted so far. “Accepting recommendations is one thing, but what about its implementation,” the court asked.
The government pleader submitted that help cells for women have been set up at 1,049 police stations across the state, while 364 help cells had been set up at the state transport stands. “You are saying 1,049 cells are established, but how many police stations are there,” the court asked. “Only a toll-free number is not enough,” the court further remarked.
“Have you given it publicity? A register should be maintained of complaints received. You must assign a complaint number.”
The petitioner’s advocate R Chavan said the number was operational, it had not been publicised enough. The court passed an order saying on the next date it would “consider the issue of implementation of the recommendations of the committee”.
The bench has also directed the state government to extend the term of the committee, considering the “magnitude of the task” required to complete its final report. The committee has, so far, submitted five interim reports and its term is set to lapse on November 30.
The state government will also have to inform the court whether it will accept the 32 remaining recommendations. While 21 of the 141 recommendations have been referred to a special task force, 11 others are under consideration.
The matter will next be heard on November 11.
According to the data provided by the state, the 103 toll-free number has received 2,933 calls till July this year, of which 2,928 were “disposed” of. Last year the helpline had received 10,738 calls.