A division bench of Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice R.K. Gauba said: “There is no let up from crime against women. Now, Delhi is becoming racist also. I don’t know what has happened to the city. We have to take stringent steps.”
As the court heard the pleas on women safety in Delhi, the central government told it that it has been taking steps to ensure their safety and security.
An Additional Solicitor General (ASG) told the court that number of lines of police helpline number 100 has been increased from 60 to 100, while the number of lines of women helpline number 1091 has also been increased from four to 10.
At this, the bench asked about the maximum response time of police after it receives a complaint on 1091 and asked the Delhi Police to file an affidavit in this regard.
In its affidavit about the steps taken for the safety of women in Delhi, the central government said: “370 additional police vans sanctioned and Delhi Police is maintaining the size of PCR fleet of 1,000. 325 vulnerable areas identified by Delhi Police are being covered by patrolling.”
The affidavit filed by the home ministry further said that out of 85 identified locations, 78 locations have already covered with CCTV. “CCTVs are being installed in the DTC buses (in the first phase, 200 buses have been covered). GPS installation in public service vehicles have been mandatory by the Delhi government. All civic agencies have initiated actions to install CCTV cameras in areas of their jurisdiction.”
The government also said that several other measures are taken to ensure that no crime against women goes unreported.
The court also questioned why the forensic team can’t reach directly to the crime scene so that it can collect samples from the spot. “Why doesn’t forensic team reach directly to crime scene? This will save your (police) time and quality of investigation would be increased,” the bench suggested.
The court further asked the central government and Delhi Police to file a response on quality of criminal investigation, presence of forensic expert or team at the crime spot, and forensic training given to police crime teams.
The Delhi government was asked to examine inclusion of forensic pathologists in city’s hospitals and file status report. The Ministry of Health and AIIMS were also asked to file similar status reports.
On recruitment of additional police force in Delhi, the central government said it is committed to create additional, subject to financial requirements and functional justification of the posts.
The Ministry of Finance said it was agreed to create 4,227 posts for the proposed separation of crime and investigation and law and order functions and for the remaining posts, Ministry of Home Affairs was to set up a high level committee to review the existing set up of Delhi Police and to analyse the use of advancement of technology rather than increasing manpower.
“The report of this high level committee to be finalised. The matter for creation of additional posts would be processed as and when the report of high level committee is finalised an provided to the finance ministry. Since the report is yet to be received, the Department of Expenditure has no specific timelines of the proposals and plan with regard to improving policing in Delhi,” stated its affidavit.
Earlier, the court directed the central government to increase police force here.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation initiated by it for women’s safety and recruitment of additional police in Delhi after the December 16, 2012 gangrape case.
The court posted the matter for July 27.