Acting on a PIL filed by 'HELP' a NGO of Nawashahar, a division bench of the high court comprising acting chief Justice Jasbir Singh and Justice Rakesh Jain on Wednesday directed the Punjab Government to explain reasons for not making appointments to the post of chairperson and other non-official members of the Punjab State Commission for Women.
The petitioner, the general secretary of NGO, Parvinder Singh Kittna, in his PIL, has stated that there is one post of chairperson and five posts of non-official members in the commission.
However, the post of chairperson is lying vacant since December 30th, 2011 and four other non-official members have also retired on completion of their tenure during the intervening period.
He further stated that the Punjab State Commission for Women has become totally non-functional since May 2012 and at present; there is only one non-official member, Parveen Sharma, who was also not being paid salary since May, 2012 by state government.
He further said in his PIL that as per information received under RTI Act, the various employees of the commission are getting salary and allowances to the tune of Rs. 4.15 lakh per month.
However, due to non-appointment of chairperson and four other non-official members, the commission is not conducting its meetings regularly.
He added that as per the RTI Information, around 1300 complaints were being received by the commission during the year 2010-11 and as many as 611 complaints were received by the commission till July 2012.
He accused that the state government has been showing indifferent attitude to the commission, despite the fact that it is a statutory body, and the government is under legal obligation to make appointments to this commission.
During arguments before the bench, the counsel for the petitioner stated that as Punjab State Commission for Women is non-functional, the suicide committed recently by Jalandhar based college girl Shivali went unnoticed, since the obligation to protect the human rights of the women appears to be the duty of the commission.