NEW DELHI: To make the national capital a safe and secure for women and children, the Delhi High Court today asked the AAP government and the police to coordinate on lighting up dark areas and setting up cameras in vulnerable locations of the city.
A bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Sanjeev Sachdeva also directed the Centre to take a decision within six weeks on augmenting the strength of Delhi Police, noting that it was "below the national average" and many of its personnel were deployed on VIP security duties by removing them from policing work.
On the issue of setting up CCTVs in vulnerable areas of the city where crimes against women was more prevalent, the court gave the Delhi government eight weeks time to procure and install the cameras, saying this task should be one of its top priorities.
The Police was asked to give a time frame for setting up CCTVs in its 192 police stations and 42 chowkis, along with the locations where the cameras would be installed.
The police has to give the details on the next date of hearing on December 14, the court said and made it clear that all the cameras, including those being installed by the Delhi government, should have recording facility with a storage capacity of minimum 30 days.
On the issue of lighting up dark spots or stretches of the city where crimes against women reportedly take place, the bench directed the police and the Delhi government to set up an agency for appropriately mapping or displaying all such locations along with the authority responsible for maintaining the area.
The court said the mapped information should also be put up in the public domain.
Besides, the police and the city government were asked to create a nodal agency which can be informed by the authorities and the general public about malfunctioning of street lights and ensure their repair or replacement within 72 hours.
The court was hearing a PIL initiated by it in 2012 after the December 16, 2012 gangrape of a young woman in a moving bus. The victim later succumbed to injuries inflicted on her by the rapists.
During the hearing, the Centre told the bench that a high level committee was examining the issue of augmenting the strength of the Delhi Police.
The police in turn told the court that all the vacancies up till December this year have been taken care of in the recruitment process initiated for 7,300 posts.
The bench was also told that a committee headed by four Special Commissioners has been created to look into all aspects of crimes against women and suggest remedial measures.
The court hoped that the panel would finalise its recommendations within six weeks.
The police also said there was a one percent decline in the reporting of rapes this year and a 20 per cent dip in cases of outraging the modesty of women. It said that in 96 per cent of rape cases, the assailant was a close relative or someone known to the victim.