NEW DELHI: Crores allocated for the Nirbhaya Fund for initiatives to support women’s safety and dignity lie unused as crime against women continue to peak, amicus curiae and senior advocate Indira Jaising informed the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
The government had announced the Nirbhaya Fund in 2013 to accelerate programmes for women safety after the December 16, 2012 brutal gang rape of a 23-year-old which had shocked the conscience of the entire nation and exposed the vulnerabilities suffered by women in the National Capital. The appeals of the convicts, condemned to death by lower courts, are being heard by the Supreme Court.
Ms. Jaising submitted before a Bench of Justices M.B. Lokur and P.C. Pant that the annual budgetary allocation made to the fund hardly reached the ones needed it for various women welfare schemes.
“What is the purpose of having a fund when it does not reach the needy hands. It is hardly utilised and the only purpose it appears to have been used is setting up of ‘one stop crisis centres’ in different States,” Ms. Jaising submitted.
Counsel for the Centre, however, refuted the claim and gave last year’s figures saying that out of the ₹2,195 crore in the fund, 16 proposals amounting to ₹2,187 crore had been recommended.