Tamil Nadu

PIL filed in HC on the plight of domestic violence victims in T.N.

The petitioner says the victims were unable to reach the Protection Officers

A public interest litigation (PIL) petition has been filed in the Madras High Court accusing the State government of having completely neglected travails faced by women because of significant increase in domestic violence cases during the nationwide lockdown to fight COVID-19.

Advocate Sudha Ramalingam has filed the petition seeking a direction to the government to ensure that the victim women get effective access to the Protection Officers and that the latter were provided all necessary infrastructure required to rescue the victims.

Justices R. Subbiah and R. Pongiappan directed the government to respond to the PIL petition next week after the petitioner’s counsel B. Poonguzhali pointed out that spurt in domestic violence cases during the lockdown had been reported even in the U.K.

Stating that it was a worldwide phenomenon, she said that many States in the country had taken note of the issue and put a mechanism in place to help the victims. Kerala and Odisha governments had launched WhatsApp helpline numbers to report domestic violence.

However, when it came to Tamil Nadu, the victims were unable to approach Judicial Magistrates since trial courts were not functioning. Out of 38 districts in the State, the phone numbers of only 31 Protection Officers had been provided in the government website.

Even among those 31 phone numbers, only seven were mobile phone numbers and the rest were land line numbers. Most of those phone numbers were either not reachable or not in use and those officers did not even have a facility to transport the victims, the advocate said.

Therefore, she pleaded with the court to put in place all necessary steps required to ensure the safety of women from domestic violence.

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Printable version | Jul 3, 2020 4:41:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/pil-filed-in-hc-on-the-plight-of-domestic-violence-victims-in-tn/article31369078.ece

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