Have set up 15 special cells, safe house to help intercaste married couples, govt tells HCUpdated: Sep 16, 2020 23:46 IST
The Delhi government has informed the high court that it has issued an order for setting up 15 special cells to deal with complaints of harassment and threats to couples who marry out of their caste/religion and has also instituted a safe house to accommodate such persons.
In the status report filed on Monday by Delhi government standing counsel Rahul Mehra and advocate Chaitanya Gosain, before a bench of justice JR Midha and justice Brijesh Sethi, the state home department said the decision to constitute the special cells was taken on August 28.
In its report, the government also said a meeting was held on August 14 and it was decided that a special cell -- comprising the deputy commissioner of police, district social welfare officer and a representative of women and child development department -- shall be set up in each revenue district. However, in the next meeting on August 21, the government decided to set up these cells in each of the 15 police districts of Delhi.
The status report was filed in response to a habeas corpus plea by an NGO and a man who claimed that the woman he wanted to marry was being confined against her will by her parents, who were opposed to the union over caste differences.
The plea also claimed that the Supreme Court had directed the setting up of special cells to deal with problems faced by intercaste wedded couples and to ensure their protection, but this has not been complied with. The Supreme Court had also directed that the cells be headed by district superintendents of police, the document read.
During the earlier hearing, the court had told the Delhi government that if no special cell has been constituted, then they should be set up before August 11 and the man’s complaint must be registered by the special cell and due action taken.
Subsequently, on August 11, the Delhi government told the bench that appropriate steps were being taken to comply with the apex court directions.
The status report said while initially it was decided that the social welfare department would create and manage a helpline meant solely for couples of intercaste marriages, later it was decided that the Delhi Commission for Women would help such couples through their existing helpline -- 181 -- meant for women safety.