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Apex court slams ‘unsafe’ Capital

Apex court slams ‘unsafe’ Capital
Observing that there is no safety in the Capital, the Supreme Court on Friday said it must be ‘restored’ so that women can live with honour and dignity since incidents like the Delhi gangrape are being ‘repeated’.

‘There is no safety in the city and it has to come back,’ a bench of justices K S Radhakrishnan and Dipak Misra said while pointing out that the incident of gangrape of a 23-year-old girl on 16 December was not an isolated one and that it is being ‘repeated’ in the Capital. The apex court said it is concerned about providing safe environment for women so that they can live with dignity.

The bench made the remarks while hearing a PIL filed by a law student seeking directions for making the city safer for its citizens and for setting up a Criminal Injuries Compensation Board for payment of compensation to victims of rape.

‘We are more concerned about safe environment where women can work with honour and dignity and that must be restored,’ the bench said, while issuing notice to the Centre, the NCT government and the National Commission for Women asking them to file their response within two weeks. It also said the owner of the bus in which the girl was gangraped in a brutal manner should not be allowed to operate buses on the route on which any of his buses violates law.

Making another submission, the petitioner submitted that licence of vehicles should be cancelled for violation of Motor Vehicles Act.

The petition, filed by Nipun Saxena and others, said that there are various prominent issues, including establishment of a formal compensatory mechanism for rape victims, which needs to be addressed for the safety and security of women.

It said that private buses, which are operating in the NCR region without valid licences, should be brought to book and if anyone is found violating the same then their licence be cancelled. They should also be booked for offences under the Motor Vehicles Act or the IPC.

The petition sought court’s direction to State Transport Authority and the police agencies to ‘immediately cancel and revoke the licences and permits of the buses which operate at odd timings and conduct their business without the authority of law’.

It also pointed out that there is a ‘compelling need’ to establish a criminal injuries compensation board to provide instantaneous and expeditious monetary relief to rape victims.

Seeking speedy justice in cases of crimes against women, especially rape and gangrape cases, the petition sought for establishment of fast track courts for expeditious disposal of such cases.

It also said that all public and transport vehicle should be fitted with GPS system and high security registration plate and a log book should be maintained detailing the routes and destinations covered by it.

The petition further said that the government should give encouragement to employ women drivers and bus conductors and should also start taxi and auto service with women drivers.

It also sought direction to the government to encourage participation of elderly people in families.

The old practice of having beat constables in areas, which has been substituted by patrolling by the police vehicles, should be revived as it is more effective in gathering inputs.
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