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List areas where sexual offences are rampant: High court

India on 21 February 2014
Location : Delhi | Source : Times of India. Image Source: Flickr user Nagesh Kamath

The Delhi high court on Wednesday directed the Centre and the Delhi government to provide it the details of areas in the capital where incidents of sexual offences are rampant. 

Observing that "rape is nothing but an aggravated form of eve-teasing", a bench of acting Chief Justice B D Ahmed and Justice S Mridul said, "Fact of the matter is that women feel unsafe in Delhi. Governments come and governments go, but safety of women in Delhi is still a question mark." 

Asking the Delhi government to provide it with the "the map of areas where eve-teasing incidents are happening", the bench said that it will involve a sociologist to "study the reasons behind the problem". "If you have done crime mapping, then you will know where incidents of eve-teasing are happening in Delhi. Then you can employ NGOs to go and change the mindset of people in those areas as these crimes are committed by ordinary persons and not someone from outer space," the bench said. 

The court's observations came while hearing a plea, filed by advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal, alleging that instances of eve-teasing in the capital have increased by over 700% in 2013, and the Centre and city government must be directed to implement the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court. 

During the hearing, the bench also asked Additional Solicitor General Rajeeve Mehra as to why the government has not been advised to conduct an "open house" so that people can come forward with their views. 

It asked the Centre and Delhi Government to find out "what is the societal problem, the mindset of cops and whether they are gender sensitized as claimed by police". 

"Are the male cops gender-zsensitize or are they still male chauvinists?" said the court while asking police if they are "registering FIRs if a girl complains of eve-teasing". It also asked police whether the general public was aware of the 24-hour special helpline and distress cell set up to deal with complaints of eve-teasing. "Everyone knows about 100. How many know of 181 (helpline number)? Not many we are sure. You have to make it known," it said.

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