New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has pulled up the Centre and city government for their "tardy and sluggish" pace of implementing steps to create awareness on the issue of sexual offences and related laws in the capital.
Distressed over the lack of swiftness on the part of the governments to create gender sensitisation and awareness about punishments for crimes against women, a bench of justices Kailash Gambhir and Sunita Gupta said that "at this rate the required results will not be achieved even in the next 20 years".
The court also said that, keeping in view the enormity and gravity of the offences against women, a lot needs to be done by the authorities who instead of "harping" upon the various steps suggested by them for creating public awareness should ensure that things are "practically seen in action".
It said that one or two advertisements in any newspaper in a year or six months "will not suffice" as public awareness has to be "constant, on war footing and also at the grass-root level specially in `jhuggi` clusters and other crime prone areas".
"We are distressed to say that things are not moving with the required swiftness and the tardy and sluggish pace with which the steps are being taken, we have no hesitation in saying that the Union of India and Government of Delhi may not achieve the required results even in the next 20 years," the court said.
"In our country, there is a serious dearth of awareness and gender sensitisation and it pains to see the malefactor walk free with an air of pride," it further said, adding that "people are not fully aware of the punishments provided for such offences, are even ignorant of the latest criminal law amendments, wherein voyeurism and stalking were also included under the IPC".
It directed the authorities to "file better affidavits" after giving a practical shape to the suggestions made by them and listed the matter for further hearing on November 14, 2014.