The Bombay high court on Friday sought to know what action was being taken to address complaints received on the helplines for women and children.
The division bench of justice Abhay Oka and justice AK Menon has directed the state government to submit a report of action taken on all complaints filed on the helpline numbers 103 and 1091 on October 1, November 1 and December 1 last year.
The court was hearing two public interest litigation (PILs) — one based on two Hindustan Times reports and another filed by city NGO Help Mumbai Foundation. The PILs raised the issue of women’s safety in the city.
Responding to the PILs, additional government pleader Geeta Shastri told the bench 4,626 complaints received on the helplines by the end of October 2014 had been disposed of. When the judges asked what procedures were followed in disposing of the complaints, Shastri said the complaints had and are being forwarded to police stations concerned.
The judges issued the directive after the counsel for Help Mumbai Foundation, advocate Rajeev Chavan, pointed out that no action is taken on complaints lodged on the helpline numbers.
Chavan expressed the need to verify the exact nature of action taken by police stations. The court directed the government to file an affidavit disclosing how many police help centres have been established at railway stations and state transport bus stands.
The directive was issued after Chavan pointed out that although the justice CS Dharmadhikari committee has recommended setting up of these centres, there are help centres at only 364 of the 572 ST bus stands in Maharashtra.