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‘Educate children about good touch and bad touch’, says HC

Posters had been put up on Metro stations, bus stops and hoardings on laws regarding sexual abuse of children and women.

Written by Aneesha Mathur | New Delhi |
August 23, 2014 2:04:45 am

The Delhi government is considering a proposal to educate children about sexual harassment and “good touch and bad touch” to control instances of sexual offences against children and women in the capital.

The suggestion was submitted before the Delhi High Court bench of Justices Kailash Gambhir and Sunita Gupta on Friday during a hearing on steps taken to create awareness of sexual offences and the law in the capital.

“The Additional Solicitor General has suggested that awareness in schools about ‘good touch and bad touch” should be imparted to children through audio visuals in the presence of counsellors, so no physical element is involved…” the court said.

ASG Sanjay Jain and Delhi government counsel Zubeda Begum also told the court that posters had been put up on Metro stations, bus stops and hoardings on laws regarding sexual abuse of children and women. The counsel also told the court that street plays and radio programmes had been commissioned, through the Song and Drama Division of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, for the same.

Amicus curiae senior advocate K K Sharma, however, told the court that the advertisements only mentioned the offences and did not mention the punishments for the crimes, due to which they “did not act as a deterrent”.

The court has now directed the government to hold deliberations with the senior advocate and ensure that posters and awareness programmes regarding laws against sexual offences include awareness regarding the punishment.

The High Court had taken up the issue of creating awareness about sexual offences against children and women while hearing an appeal filed by a man convicted for raping his minor daughter. The court had observed that the reason for the increase in such cases was because people were unaware of the law and did not fear any legal action. The court had directed the government to ensure “grassroots level awareness” so that women and children were aware of their rights and the law.

The court noted that most of the measures mentioned by the government were merely suggestions and would take time to implement. The court asked the government to submit “fresh affidavits after giving practical shape to the suggestions, within eight weeks”.

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