Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed the Railways to bear 50 per cent of the cost incurred to deploy additional 100 GRP home guards across suburban railway stations and in local trains to ensure safety of women commuters.
A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M S Sanklecha was hearing a suo moto (on its own) public interest litigation based on newspaper reports and a PIL filed by NGO Help Mumbai Foundation regarding women`s safety in the city and while travelling in local trains.
The bench was today informed by Advocate General Darius Khambata that on request from the Government Railway Police (GRP) for additional 100 home guards, the state government had sanctioned it but had asked the Railways to bear 50 per cent of the cost. However, the railways did not agree to it.
"The state government had sanctioned 1,500 home guards but the order was withdrawn after the railways refused to accept the 50-50 cost bearing," Khambata said.
Observing that the issue of women`s safety was serious, the bench said, "The railways is directed to bear 50 per cent cost for the home guards supplied to the GRP."
The court also directed the state government to take a decision by August 31 on whether it would be accepting the recommendations made by the Justice Dharmadhikari committee set up to look into women safety issues.