New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday expressed dissatisfaction with the steps taken by authorities here in implementing its orders with respect to payment of compensation to rape victims, setting up of forensic labs and recruitment of additional personnel in the city police.
A bench of justices BD Ahmed and S Mridul also rejected the Centre`s defence that delay in inducting additional personnel in police is due to change in government.
"It does not matter who comes to power. Bureaucrats remain the same," the court observed and added, "A larger police force is the crying need of the hour, and we are of the view that the government should not hold back on this aspect".
The court, which had taken suo motu cognisance of the December 16 gangrape, has been issuing slew of directions on issues including safety of women, compensating victims of crime, setting up more FSL facilities in the city and induction of more police personnel, including women.
During the hearing, the court was not satisfied with Delhi government`s status report on funds disbursed to rape victims and time taken for the same, saying even now there is a delay of four to six months in disbursal of funds.
The bench suggested that there should be a single window mechanism where a victim awarded compensation can immediately receive the amount given by the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA).
"We are not satisfied with the action taken by any of them pursuant to our order of April 16, 2014. In the first place, with respect to disbursal of compensation to rape victims, we find no material progress has been made and delay in disbursal continues to range between four to six months.
"We feel victims ought to be compensated immediately after it is awarded by the Legal Services Authority. For this we feel there should be a single window, where award can be presented and compensation can be paid. For this to materialise it is necessary that a payment mechanism is available at each legal services authority office," the court said.
The court directed DSLSA to hold a meeting with the
Divisional Commissioner here to "work out the modalities" and place a concrete proposal on disbursal of compensation before the court by the next date of hearing, on August 6.
"In case of delay on the part of Divisional Commissioner, he shall remain present in person to explain the same," the bench said.
Regarding setting up of Forensic Science Laboratories (FSL), the court noted that while some progress has been made on establishing one, it expressed unhappiness over the remaining three not coming up and sought a clear status report indicating the progress made by the authorities in that direction.
On the recruitment of additional personnel to Delhi police, the court noted that the Centre has received a proposal for inducting 14,869 cops in phase I and the same is under examination.
"We hope the entire process of creating addditonal posts is expedited, so that phase II can also be rolled out," the court said.
It also said that the information given to it on April 16 that there are FSLs in seven government hospital "is incorrect" and asked the Director, FSL to examine the feasibility of setting up such labs in government hospitals.
On April 16, 2014, the court had asked the Centre, city government and police to take steps in creating and filling up additional posts in the police, saying the "great shortage" of security personnel has been felt by the citizens.
The court had also termed as "unacceptable" the delay in payment of compensations to rape victims and had asked Delhi government to ensure that they are paid within two weeks after the issue is decided by the DSLSA.
Earlier, the bench had expressed displeasure over the "inadequate" number of FSLs in Delhi and had directed the city government to set up such facilities in rented buildings as a "stop gap measure" till land is allocated.