More than five years after the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence (DV) Act, 2005 came into effect, the Maharashtra government has not yet appointed full time protection officers, who play a crucial role in implementing the socially benevolent legislation.
Pune-based social activist, advocate Rajendra Anbhule has brought the issue to the high court again by filing a new public interest litigation. Acting on his PIL, a division bench of justice DD Sinha and justice Niteen Jamdar last week directed the state government to file, in four weeks, an affidavit stating why full-time protection officers had not been appointed.
Acting on Anbhule’s earlier PIL, the high court had, on June 24, 2010, directed the chief secretary to initiate the process for appointment of full-time protection officers and complete it within six months. However, revenue officers continue to be given additional charge of protection officers, compelling the activist to move the high court again.
The 37-year-old lawyer said protection officers working directly under the concerned magistrate, play a crucial role in implementing the DV Act. Anbhule assists aggrieved women right from filing complaints up to ensuring proper implementation of court orders.
Anbhule has contended that as the protection officer reports directly to the judicial magistrate first class, handling cases filed under the DV Act, one such officer is required to be appointed for every JMFC court across Maharashtra. The PIL will now come up for further hearing after four weeks.