Delhi HC dismisses PIL for separate lock-ups for women detainees

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday dismissed a PIL seeking separate police lock-ups for women detainees in order to protect them from "sexual abuse" and "ill-treatment", saying it is "centered around the allegations levelled" by a woman against an individual policeman, which was already a subject matter of judicial proceedings.

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday dismissed a PIL seeking separate police lock-ups for women detainees in order to protect them from "sexual abuse" and "ill-treatment", saying it is "centered around the allegations levelled" by a woman against an individual policeman, which was already a subject matter of judicial proceedings.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath, however, said that they have "not in any manner gone into the obvious duty of the respondents to ensure due protection of female accused when in police lock-ups".

"It is an admitted fact that the petitioner is the counsel for accused (woman)...Filed before this court by (concerned police officer). The petitioner is not a disinterested person in the matter. In our opinion, the petition lacks bona fide.

"Though the petition ostensibly seeks implementation of the Supreme Court guidelines in the case of...The petition is more or less centered around the allegations levelled by the woman before the (trial court) which are already the subject matter of judicial proceedings. We do not feel it necessary, in these facts, to interfere in the matter," the court said.

The court's judgement came while dismissing a PIL filed by advocate Avadh Kaushik who had said that there was an urgent need to bring down the sexual abuse, harassment, ill-treatment and torture committed on women detainees in police lock-ups.

Citing a Supreme Court judgement, the petitioner had pointed out two separate criminal cases registered in Rohini here, where women were arrested by police at night without proper permission from the magistrate courts concerned.

He had said that they were arrested by policemen and not produced before the magistrate courts immediately but were produced the next day.

In both cases, they had alleged that they were sexually abused, harassed and humiliated at the hands of male police personnel in the police lock-ups, the plea had said.

The court, however, observed in its six-page-judgement that the "background details of only one case are given in the petition".

"...Hence appropriate action has been taken based on the allegations of the woman i.E. An FIR has been registered. The matter is sub-judice," the bench said, while dismissing the PIL. 

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