Upholding death to cab drivers Purshottam Borale (26) and Pradeep Kokade (20) for abducting,raping and murdering a Pune BPO employee,a division bench of Bombay High Court (HC) comprising Justices V M Kanade and P D Kode said on Monday it would request the Chief Justice to take note of the need for women’s safety through a PIL so that corrective measures become binding on public as well as private companies.
HC has the power to initiate suo motu action in public interest.
The state government,while seeking the harshest punishment for the cab drivers,had urged the court to lay down guidelines for safety of women working nights. The judges said directions given by a court on a PIL were binding on the government.
HC said private vehicles and pre-paid taxis could not be completely safe for women and asked the state government to take stock of regulations framed to ensure safety of women travelling alone in pre-paid taxis.
It said many tourists used pre-paid cab services from airports.
“If a tourist takes a pre-paid taxi from airport to Panvel,there could be so many secluded spots on the way,” Justice Kanade said. “In such cases,a pre-paid taxi is not enough to ensure safety,especially of women travelling alone.”
Public prosecutor Revati Dere said the rape and murder of Jyotikumari Choudhary (22) by cab drivers taking her to office had impacted many women working night shifts. She pointed out that 40 per cent of BPO employees were women.
The state government has made 17 suggestions,including a control room,a global positioning system unit,in-cab miniature cameras and an emergency button,to ensure safety of women working nights. The suggestions also include employees and security staff of a company and local police following a standard operating procedure and training women employees in self-defence and insuring all employees for up to Rs 5 lakh against crime and accident.