The Bombay High Court Monday said that the state government needed to frame a “comprehensive policy” to ensure safety and security of women.
“There was a time when the city of Mumbai never slept. For twenty-four hours women could go anywhere. Now it is not like that,” Justice V M Kanade remarked.
The court was hearing a suo motu PIL initiated after the court sentenced two men to death for rape and murder of a Pune BPO employee in 2007. At the time of delivering its verdict in 2012, the High Court had emphasised on the need for greater security for working women and asked the state government to frame a policy .
The court said that the taxi services run by women that were available from the airport were a welcome move, however, the state government needed to take concrete steps for security of women.
“The ideal thing would be to have security measures apart from (installing) CCTV cameras,” a division bench of Justcie Kanade and P D Kode observed. The court added that there needs to be greater monitoring and patrolling by the police.
The court expressed its concern over the rising number of crimes against women reported in newspapers every day.
The court also noted that a lot of material was easily available, even to children, on various media like internet and TV. “That is why this perversity. All these channels have to be blocked,” the court remarked.
Additional public prosecutor Purnima Kantharia said that guidelines for security of women were laid down by the High Court as well as the Supreme Court. She said that while the government to take the necessary steps for safety and security of women, there also needs to be greater awareness among people at large to come forward to help women in distress.
Citing examples of cases in which women had pleaded for help but noone had come to their rescue, she said that awareness posters and animated graphics should be displayed in public places, trains and buses.