New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday sought reply from the Centre on a petition seeking direction to plug loopholes in infrastructure under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act.
The petition filed by NGO, We the Women of India — a citizen’s network group, sought adequate appointment and establishment of protection officers, service providers, shelter homes, post lodging of complaints against the husband and his family, as provided for under the Act.
A bench comprising Justices U.U. Lalit and S. Ravindra Bhat issued notice to the Ministries of Home Affairs, Women and Child Development, and Information and Broadcasting.
The bench said: “Issue notice to respondent 1, 2 and 3. Let replies be filed by December 6, 2021.” However, it refused to issue notice to the state governments, as it could lead to confusion. The plea had made Centre, all states, and Union Territories as parties in the case.
The plea, filed through advocate Shobha Gupta said: “For the successful implementation and execution of the 2005 Act, it is necessary that the contact details of concerned ‘Protection Officers’ or the ‘Service Providers’ as well as the ‘Shelter Homes’, is made easily available and accessible to the aggrieved women, for necessary and timely assistance…”
The plea cited the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report of 2019, where over 4.05 lakh cases of crimes against women were recorded across the country, out of which 30 percent were cases of domestic violence.
The plea, citing findings of the National Family Health Survey, said about 86 per cent of the women victims of domestic violence never seek help.
The plea also sought directions to Centre and state governments to conduct regular awareness campaigns related to crimes against women.