The state government has got three months to frame guidelines for the appointment of protection officer (PO) as required under the Domestic Violence Act, (DV), 2005.
There are 4,000-odd POs who are government officers and give additional charge.
While disposing of a public interest litigation filed by Pune-based advocate Rajendra Anbhule, a division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice S.C. Dharmadhikari also questioned the government's method of appointing POs with additional charge.
Anbhule's PIL said the government has totally ignored implementation of the Act, which has been basically constituted to protect the women and children from domestic violence.
Additional Government Pleader Jyoti Pawar told the court that the government had issued a circular on June 8 appointing a committee for framing guidelines for appointment of POs. The committee comprises secretary of women and child welfare department, deputy secretary of Law and Judiciary department and home department. It also comprises NGO - Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Karve Institute and Nirmala Niketan, informed Pawar.
To start with, one PO per district will be appointed and later POs at taluka level, added Pawar. Sugandh Deshmukh, advocate for Anbhule, said every day cases are being registered under the DV Act. One officer per district level would not suffice. “How will one officer run around the entire district?" asked Deshmukh.