separate lock-ups for women

Notice to government, police on separate lock-ups for women.

The Delhi High Court Wednesday issued notice to the central and Delhi governments and the city police commissioner on a plea seeking separate police lock-ups for accused women in order to protect them from sexual abuse, harassment and torture.

A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice R.S. Endlaw sought responses from the two governments and the police by Sep 10.

The public interest litigation (PIL) filed by advocate Avadh Kaushik said there was an urgent need to bring down the sexual abuse, harassment, ill-treatment and torture committed upon detained and arrested women accused in police lock-ups.

He said that in clear violation of the law, there were incidents where police arrest women at night without accompanying women police personnel.

The advocate pointed out two cases registered in Rohini, where two women were arrested by police at night without proper permission from the concerned magistrate courts.

“They were arrested by male police personnel, they were not produced before the concerned magistrate courts immediately but were produced the next day. And most importantly, in both cases, the women accused alleged that they were sexually abused, harassed, humiliated, and tortured at the hands of male police personnel in the police lock-up,” the advocate said.

The plea sought direction for random, surprise and regular visits and inspection of police lock-ups at night by judicial officers not below the rank of an additional sessions judge and preferably by a woman judge.

The petition sought direction for the police commissioner to deal with complaints of violation of human and women rights by police officers in lock-ups.

“Direct police commissioner to deal the complainants and information received regarding violation of human and women rights by police officers in lock-ups promptly, seriously and with heavy hands in a deterrent manner to prevent the abuse of power by police officers,” the petition said.

The petition also asked for suitable sensitization programmes to make metropolitan magistrates more trained, sensitive and judicial with respect to granting permission to police to arrest a woman at night.

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