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Delhi HC raps AAP govt on lack of public sevice messages to deter sexual offence

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New Delhi: Delhi High Court has questioned the AAP government as to why it cannot repeatedly issue radio and print campaigns for deterring sexual offences instead of giving ads promoting itself with the tagline “Wo pareshaan karte rahe, hum kaam karte rahe”.

A bench of justices Kailash Gambhir and Sunita Gupta made the remark after Delhi government said they were “forced” to pull out programmes, including jingles on radio, on creating awareness about such crimes as after sometime people get bored of them and do not hear them. “Instead of ads like ‘Wo pareshaan karte rahein, hum kaam karte rahein (they troubled us but we continued with our work)’, why can’t you issue again and again programmes to create deterrence among the perpetrators of sexual crimes and to make everybody aware of their rights,” the court said. The court was referring to the ads issued by Arvind Kejriwal government that praised its work and targeted the Centre.

The court also pulled up the Centre and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government for their “insensitivity” on the issue of creating mass awareness about how to bring down the sexual offences against women. “We again lay emphasis on the fact that these mass awareness programmes through audio and visual medium need to be launched at a war-footing. Till date, we find that the respondents (Centre and Delhi government) despite various directions given by this court could not bring out any documentary or short film to sensitise the people, to create deterrence among the perpetrators of crime and to make everybody aware of their rights,” the court said and asked the ministry concerned to prepare a documentary on the issue by next date of hearing.

The court had earlier also said the Centre and Delhi government were “not appreciative of the fact that one of the most effective mechanism to bring down the crime rate of sexual offences against women, could be through the process of mass awareness programmes and education” and on that front the two were “quite sluggish”.

Referring to National Crime Records Bureau’s (NCRB) data, the bench had earlier said that statistics on crime against women and children suggest that 309,546 crimes against women were reported in 2013 against 244,270 in 2012. “The total number of rape cases reported in India has gone up to 33,707 in 2013 from 24,923 in 2012. In 15,556 cases, the rape victims were aged between 18 and 30 years in 2013. A total of 58,224 cases of crimes against children were reported in the country during 2013. NCRB statistics also show that in 94% of the cases, the offenders were familiar to the accused,” the court had observed.

It had said that the reason for increase in such cases was because people are unaware of the law and did not fear any legal action. The court was hearing an appeal filed by a man convicted for raping his minor daughter.

PTI