Outlines ways and means to combat crime against women

The Central Government has directed the Delhi Government to initiate a number of steps in a time-bound manner to combat crime against women. It has also outlined various ways and means to improve and strengthen the administrative and police system to ensure that crimes against women are prevented through quick action, a gender-sensitive response mechanism and greater accountability of the enforcement agencies.

The Cabinet Secretariat has demanded “100 per cent verification for drivers/conductors/helpers (the entire crew) of the public transport vehicles, plying in Delhi in a time-bound programme which will include collecting biometrics of all such persons as well’’.

“After the stipulated time frame,’’ it said, “no public transport vehicle will be allowed to be driven/manned by any driver/conductor/helper or other crew member unless such a person has been verified and carries the verification certificate/identity permit.’’

Likewise, the Centre has ordered that “owners of buses will be held responsible for compliance of the steps outlined. It is also necessary to debar owners of vehicles involved in repeat offences from retaining existing permits/obtaining any fresh permits for plying public transport vehicles and for impounding of vehicles involved in repeat offences.’’ These steps appear to have been influenced directly by the December 16 gang-rape in which it was later discovered that the vehicle, in which the crime was committed was involved in several traffic violations and its owner was operating the vehicle on the basis of fraudulently obtained documents.

The Centre has also directed that “the particulars of the bus owner/drivers and details of permit and licence shall be prominently displayed in the buses both inside and outside’’.

It has also called for “use of global positioning system (GPS) devices in all public transport vehicles along with setting up of a control room to monitor movement of buses.’’

The Delhi Government has also been told to “issue a draft notification for revising the permit for public transport vehicle incorporating provisions for disallowing use of inappropriate films and tinted glasses, higher punishment for repeat offences and other necessary measures.’’

Notification

Further, it has been stated that the final notification will be issued within a month.

Once Delhi has taken the necessary steps, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways would write to all the States regarding the revision/changes in the permit conditions and request them to take similar measures.

The Centre has also noted the need to recruit more women in the police force. The Ministry of Home Affairs would take action to obtain necessary approvals within this financial year.

The need for deploying additional Police Control Room vans in Delhi has also been felt, the Cabinet Secretariat said. “A proposal for 370 such vans has been sent by Delhi Police. Approval in this regard is proposed to be expedited within this financial year.’’

Further, lady police personnel would be deployed in some PCR vans, such as those deployed in the vicinity of educational institutions, cinema halls, malls and markets, as also the routes frequented by women employees returning from work at night. Over time, it said, some more ‘all women’ police stations have also been planned.

Stating that a number of cameras are in the process of being installed and at present a CCTV system is functional in 34 markets and four border check posts in Delhi, the Cabinet Secretariat note said there was an imperative need to further increase their numbers.

For this, it said, the police will elicit the cooperation of all stakeholders, such as traders’ associations, RWAs, managers of commercial/office buildings, malls, cinemas, NGOs, etc. who will be encouraged to install and maintain CCTVs of approved specifications in and outside their premises.

Finally, the note said there was also a need for increased focus on street lighting in public places.

“Civic bodies must undertake a review of the existing facilities and strengthen these wherever required.’’

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