The Chandigarh Administration has expressed its inability to comply with directions issued by the Punjab and Haryana High Court for preventing sexual harassment in taxis and public transport.
As the matter came up for resumed hearing, the Administration sought time to file appropriate application for seeking clarification of the High Court judgment. The developments took place during the hearing of a contempt petition filed by advocate H.C. Arora against Punjab DGP Sumedh Singh Saini and others.
The counsel for UT Administration stated it was practically not possible to spare so many women police constables for deployment in each and every public transport vehicle.
In this contempt petition, advocate Arora had alleged that the respondents were deliberately not complying with directions issued by Apex Court on November 30, 2012, in the case of “Deputy Inspector-General of Police versus S. Samuthiram”, and reiterated by a High Court Division in its decision dated April 2, 2013, in a bunch of cases, including “Court on its own motion versus State of Punjab and others”, on issue of preventing and dealing with incidents of crime against women and eve-teasing.
The petitioner submitted in the contempt petition that the Apex Court in its judgment had issued a direction that “all the state governments and union territories are directed to depute plain clothed female police officers in the precincts of bus-stands and stops, railway stations, metro stations, cinema theatres, shopping malls, parks, beaches, public service vehicles, places of worship etc. so as to monitor and supervise incidents of eve-teasing.”
Subsequently, a Division Bench reiterated the directions by observing that “States of Punjab, Haryana and Union Territory Chandigarh to follow such directions in letter and spirit.”
In their affidavits, the respondents stated that police squads were doing random checking of public transport buses, but expressed inability to deploy women constables in each and every bus. The petitioner however, argued that respondents were duty bound to comply with all directions issued by the PIL Bench. The counsel for UT Chandigarh administration thereupon sought adjournment to enable it to move application for seeking clarification of the order by the PIL Bench.