Use Nirbhaya fund to provide security to women, Delhi HC asks chief secretary
The Delhi High Court on Friday directed that the unused Nirbhaya fund should be used to provide security to women and children and help the overburdened Delhi Police.
The fund, launched in 2013 after the 2012 December 16 gang rape case that sparked outrage across India, had R3,000 crore earmarked in 2017, which is lying used.
A bench of Justice G S Sistani and Justice AJ Bhambhani asked Delhi’s chief secretary to examine how the funds could be utilised and suggested deployment of women police officers in plainclothes at crowded markets.
“Since a large sum is available in the fund, we direct that the chief secretary shall examine as to how this fund can be utilised for providing uniformed security to women and children in the city,” the bench said.
“This exercise will also ensure use of the fund, which is lying unutilised, and help to curb crimes against women and children, which is going unchecked,” the court said.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) it had initiated itself after the December 2012 gang rape, when a paramedic student was sexually assaulted in a moving bus by six people. She later died of injuries at a Singapore hospital.
On Friday, advocate Rahul Mehra, standing counsel of Delhi government (Criminal), along with advocate Chaitanya Gosain, told the court that they would not be able to constitute a special unit for women as sought by amicus curiae advocate Meera Bhatia, who was appointed to assist the court.
Mehra told the court that it is practically not possible to form a cell because of lack of manpower. Highlighting the status report filed by the police, Mehra said that after the December 16 rape, more women have come forward to register cases of sexual assault on them and as a result there has been a manifold rise in the number of cases since 2012.
While the number of cases registered by women in 2012 was 1,648, in 2017 it went up to 6,797.
The police, through Mehra, said it would become extremely difficult for a single unit to probe 6,000 cases. He submitted that four years ago, there was a shortage of 61,000 personnel in the department and now the vacancy is around 52,000. He said the duty hours of police personnel are inhuman, they are overburdened, they are not appreciated and they are even paid less.
Noting the shortage in Delhi police, the court said the chief secretary may consider employing manpower from the Directorate General Resettlement (DGR), comprising ex-servicemen from the armed forces and other agencies, to help and assist the local police.
It asked the additional solicitor general to re-examine the issue of increasing manpower in Delhi Police as vacancies are required to be created and filled up expeditiously to curb crime in the city and give some relief to the tiring and highly overburdened police force.
The court noted that incidents of chain, mobile snatching and others are increasing, making the lives of people, especially women, children and aged people difficult. The matter would be now heard on January 16.
Convicts summoned by Delhi court
Meanwhile, a Delhi court on Friday directed the Tihar jail officials to produce the four convicts in the December 16 rape case so that they can inform about legal remedies they are pursuing, including the status of the mercy and curative petitions.
Additional Sessions Judge Satish Arora directed the Tihar Jail authorities to produce the four convicts on December 13 so that they can inform the court about the status of their petitions.
The court was hearing a plea by the parents of the deceased who had sought a direction to the jail authorities to expedite the execution of the convicts.
The Delhi International Airport Limited, the operator at the Indira Gandhi International airport, on Wednesday announced that all private and commercial vehicles that pick passengers from Terminal 3 can now do the same through levels 1 and 2 of the multi-level car parking (MLCP) area. The move is aimed at decongesting Lane 3 and the forecourt area outside the terminal, officials said. After this, applicable parking charges will apply.
Five members of a family were killed and one was seriously injured in a road accident near Ranjangaon MIDC (Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation) on Pune- Ahmednagar highway near Karegaon, officials said. Police officials said that the accident took place after a container coming from the wrong side rammed into a car, at 1:30 am on Wednesday. All these are residents of Avane Budruk village in Ahmednagar district. Ranjangoan MIDC police are investigating the case.
Bengaluru City Crime Branch on Wednesday arrested as many 13 persons in connection with an illegal gambling ring and seized over Rs 1 lakh from them. The incident occurred within the Kodigehalli police station limits. The identities of the accused have not been revealed but CCB officials said the accused were running 'andar bahar' games in the gambling den. Andhar Bahar is a game of chance played with a standard deck of cards.
The Congress party in Udupi district requested the police and district administration to remove Vinayak Damodar Savarkar's posters installed on the backdrop of Independence Day celebrations. Their move comes after Karnataka Police on August 15 imposed Section 144 in parts of Shivamogga district after a clash over Savarkar and Tipu Sultan's banners at Ameer Ahmed circle on Independence Day. Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said nobody should take the law into their hands at any cost.
At least 27 kanwariyas were injured, eight of them seriously, when a bus bound to Kishanganj from Deoghar hit the divider on NH-31 near Kajra bridge under Dagarua police station about 15km from Purnia district headquarters on Wednesday morning. Station house officer, Dagarua Ramchandra Mandal claimed the accident took place due to the negligence of the bus driver. An injured, identified as Ghan Shyam Pandit, said they were returning from Deoghar and were on their way to Chhatarghat in Kishanganj.