Delhi High Cour raps Centre, Delhi govt on campaign against sexual offences

Delhi High Court has pulled up the Centre and the city government for their approach in creating mass awareness against sexual offences concerning child and women.

PTI| Last Updated: May 22, 2014, 20:25 PM IST

New Delhi: Delhi High Court has pulled up the Centre and the city government for their approach in creating mass awareness against sexual offences concerning child and women.

It said the Union ministry concerned was focusing on promoting the minister while authorities here dealt the matter with "insensitivity" and "apathy".

An anguished court slapped a cost of Rs two lakh on Delhi Government for its failure to apprise it of steps taken to create mass awareness on the issue while the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development faced the ire for focusing on advertisements with photographs of the minister which appeared to be larger than the campaign.

"On going through some of the advertisements which have been placed on record, to our shock we find that the focus of these advertisements is more on the concerned minister herself than on the matter of campaign as the photograph of minister appears to be larger in size than the matter of campaign itself.
"This should not be allowed to have happened, at least in such matters where focus should not be to gain personal publicity, rather to educate the public at large incorporating such material and photographs which are relevant for such campaigns," a bench of justices Kailash Gambhir and Sunita Gupta said.

"We also find that most of the advertisements published by the ministries are in English language, which the targeted section cannot read or understand," it said.

The court also expressed anguish over non-appearance of the standing counsel for Delhi Government to such a grave issue of public importance which concerns welfare of women and child.
"GNCTD has shown insensitivity in even caring to appear in this matter, therefore, cost of Rs 2,00,000 is imposed on GNCTD for showing such kind of apathy to such an issue of public importance which concerns welfare of women and child. Cost shall be deposited by GNCTD with Nirbhaya Fund within a period of one week from the date of this order," it said.

It also directed Delhi Government Standing Counsel Zubeda Begum to remain present in the court on July 25.