Following Delhi government orders to attach only women prosecutors with the city’s Mahila Courts, the Directorate of Prosecution (DE) has replaced nine male prosecutors with women prosecutors. However, as per data, of the 25 functional Mahila courts in the capitals, 12 courts still have male prosecutors.
Mahila Courts are special magisterial courts set up to deal with cases specific to offences against women.
According to an order issued by Director of Prosecution Pankaj Sanghi, dated November 15, nine male prosecutors were transferred from Mahila Courts to various courts. Subsequently, women prosecutors were asked to “join” in their place “with immediate effect”.
“Due to administrative exigencies and in pursuance of director of Home Department, Government of NCT, women prosecuting officers are hereby transferred/posted in Mahila Courts with immediate effect,” stated Sanghi’s order.
According to a Directorate of Prosecution response to an RTI, in 2017, there were 33 women Assistant Public Prosecutors (APP) or Additional Public Prosecutors (Ad.PP) working in the prosecution department, of which only four women Assistant PPs were posted in the Mahila Courts.
The RTI response stated that the prosecution department had posted 21 male Assistant Public Prosecutors at Mahila Courts.
However, sources in the prosecution department said that full compliance of the order may take time due lack of women prosecutors. Jamshed Ansari, an APP, who is posted at a Mahila Court in Saket, said: “Around 12 Mahila Courts still have male prosecutors, including mine. Interviews have been conducted to recruit APPs on a contractual basis, so that female APPs can be posted in Mahila courts where male APPs are working.”