Delhi HC seeks govt reply over management of women’s helpline
The Delhi high court has sought response of the Delhi government on a plea, which had challenged the privatisation and transfer of the software operations and management of 181, a women safety helpline.
A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice AJ Bhambhani also issued notices to the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) and the private firm seeking to know their stand by August 28. The court was hearing a plea filed by a bunch of people who said they had availed the benefits of the helpline that was started on December 30, 2012, soon after a young paramedic student was gang-raped inside a moving bus in 2012.
The plea, filed through advocate Anindita Pujari, contended that the transfer of the helpline amounts to a breach of trust reposed by the aggrieved women who called a state-sponsored helpline for assistance as it maintains records of all information received regarding incidents of violence against women and children.
According to the plea, the Delhi government had, in 2013, asked the private company to develop the software for the helpline. However, since the software developed was incapable of fulfilling the entire mandate of the helpline, the Indraprastha Institute of Information and Technology (IIIT), Delhi, agreed to develop a new system free of cost.
The PIL further stated that the new software addressed all the issues faced by employees of the helpline. Besides, an alarm system was created for emergency cases. However, this new software, along with the operations and management, was transferred to the private entity on March 23. It said that even the office, which was earlier operational from the Delhi Secretariat, was shifted to Naraina.
Appearing for the petitioners, senior advocate Mohan V Katarki submitted that records of sensitive information is maintained by the helpline and such information regarding incidents of violence against women and children cannot be transferred by the state to a private entity.
“The state cannot outsource the discharge of its socio-legal function to a private entity. Running the 181 Helpline is in aid of such function and hence cannot be outsourced,” the plea said.
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- The chaos and violence have raised questions about the future of the two-month-long agitation of farm unions.
- Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in a letter sent to her Indian counterpart, conveyed her greetings.
- Tuesday's decision to operate all trains comes a day after a meeting to resume local train services for all passengers was chaired by Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray.
- Khattar said that unsavoury events on Tuesday deserved to be condemned in the strongest words.
- Governor RN Ravi said 'politics by gun' has stonewalled efforts to resolve the Naga political issue.
- No details were shared about the meeting, although a functionary said the party sees similarities in Tuesday’s protests with last year's anti-CAA agitation.
- Putting the onus of Tuesday's events on the government and questioning it for not accepting the farmers demands, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said it was not right on the government's part to create a facade of talks and neither conceding to their demands nor proposing any solution.