HC asks Centre, AAP government to coordinate for safe Delhi

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday asked the Centre, Aam Aadmi Party government in the national capital, Delhi Police, and civic bodies to work together in the fight to curb crime against women.

A division bench of Justice S. Ravindra Bhat and Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva asked authorities to coordinate on lighting up dark areas and installing CCTVs in vulnerable locations in Delhi.

The bench directed that lights at dark spots in the city — once identified by police, other civic agencies, or the public — must be repaired or replaced within 72 hours and directed for the setting up of nodal agency, which will also map the areas which had dark spots.

The court also questioned the government for not acting on its 2015 direction to install closed-circuit television at 44 spots identified as vulnerable for crime against women during a crime-mapping exercise.

It gave the Delhi government eight weeks to procure and install CCTVs and said this task should be one of its top priorities.

The government informed the court that it was in the process of procuring 1.4 lakh CCTVs for installation across the city.

The court also asked the police to give a time frame for setting up CCTVs in 192 police stations and 42 chowkis, along with the locations where the CCTVs would be installed inside the police station.

It made it clear that all the CCTVs, including those being installed by the Delhi government, should have recording facility with a storage capacity of minimum 30 days.

During the hearing, the bench expressed anguish over recent spate of child rapes in Delhi.

“How do we prevent this?” the bench asked four senior Delhi Police officers of the ranks of Special Commissioner and Joint Commissioners present in the courtroom.

The Delhi Police said it was making concerted efforts to curb such crime against women and children, adding: “We are also visiting schools and sensitising students.”

Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal, however, said that police stations in Delhi were running with half the sanctioned strength of staff.

The Centre said that a high-level committee was examining the issue of augmenting Delhi Police strength.

The police said all vacancies up to December 2017 have been taken care of in the recruitment process initiated for 7,300 posts.

The court was hearing a petition initiated by it to improve women safety in the capital after the December 16, 2012, gang rape of a young woman in a moving bus.