Delhi HC pulls up Centre, State Govt on campaign against sexual offences
Delhi HC Pulls Up Centre And Delhi Government For Campaign Against Sexual Offences. Delhi High Court has pulled up the centre and the city government for their approach in creating mass awareness against sexual offences concerning child and women.
New Delhi: Delhi High Court has pulled up the centre and the city government for their approach in creating mass awareness against sexual offences concerning child and women.
It said the Union ministry concerned was focusing on promoting the minister while authorities here dealt the matter with "insensitivity" and "apathy".
An anguished court slapped a cost of Rs two lakh on Delhi Government for its failure to apprise it of steps taken to create mass awareness on the issue while the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development faced the ire for focusing on advertisements with photographs of the minister which appeared to be larger than the campaign.
"On going through some of the advertisements which have been placed on record, to our shock we find that the focus of these advertisements is more on the concerned minister herself than on the matter of campaign as the photograph of minister appears to be larger in size than the matter of campaign itself.
"This should not be allowed to have happened, at least in such matters where focus should not be to gain personal publicity, rather to educate the public at large incorporating such material and photographs which are relevant for such campaigns," a bench of justices Kailash Gambhir and Sunita Gupta said.
"We also find that most of the advertisements published by the ministries are in English language, which the targeted section cannot read or understand," it said.
The court also expressed anguish over non-appearance of the standing counsel for Delhi Government to such a grave issue of public importance which concerns welfare of women and child.
"GNCTD has shown insensitivity in even caring to appear in this matter, therefore, cost of Rs 2,00,000 is imposed on GNCTD for showing such kind of apathy to such an issue of public importance which concerns welfare of women and child.
Cost shall be deposited by GNCTD with Nirbhaya Fund within a period of one week from the date of this order," it said.
It also directed Delhi Government Standing Counsel Zubeda Begum to remain present in the court on July 25.
The court also asked the counsel for Delhi government to come with an explanation as to "why nobody has cared to appear in the matter despite the fact that, to represent GNCTD J M Kalia, advocate had appeared on the last date of hearing".
It had earlier asked Delhi government and central ministries to file reports in four weeks clearly spelling out the measures they have taken to create mass awareness through various means of communication.
The court's direction came while hearing a plea of a victim who was not paid Rs 3 lakh compensation till April 30.
The court had earlier asked the government agencies to take some effective steps to create mass awareness so that "common masses get to know about all the relevant laws and statutes concerning women and children".
The bench also directed the city and the central government to render full assistance to senior advocate K K Sharma, who was appointed as an amicus curiae.
"K K Sharma, learned senior counsel shall personally take up the matter with the ministries of GNCTD and all the concerned ministries and GNCTD shall render full assistance to the amicus curiae so that effective steps can be taken by all concerned in these awareness programmes to educate the common masses of the country of the city," it said.