Poorly lit areas make people more vulnerable to crimes: HC
Observing that "dark spots" or poorly lit areas make people more vulnerable to crimes, the Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the North Delhi Municipal Corporation and power distribution company TPDDL to identify such areas and ensure they are well-lit. With regard to the other areas in the national capital, a bench of Justices G S Sistani and A J Bhambhani issued notice to Energy Efficient Systems Ltd (EESL) after BSES said the company has worked in the field of conservation of power as well as ensuring lighting of streets.
EESL, a joint venture of various state-owned power generation companies, including National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), was asked by the court to depute someone to appear before it on November 29, the next date of hearing. The bench was hearing a PIL initiated by the court in 2012 after the horrific December 16, 2012 gang rape of a young woman in a moving bus. The woman later succumbed to her injuries.
The court, during the hearing, said crimes of snatching and assault were on the rise and "dark spots make the victims more vulnerable". Addressing representatives of Delhi Police, it said for the sake of the national capital's "prestige", steps need to be taken to ensure that such crimes do not happen and streets are safe for citizens, especially women and children.
"Mumbai has done it (made streets safer for women). We should be able to do it. It is not that you (Delhi Police) lack resources or manpower," the bench said. Advocate Meera Bhatia, who is amicus curiae in the matter, told the bench that the court had in 2017 directed the setting up of a committee to monitor and ensure women's safety and sought that the panel be asked to submit a report of the work it has done.
The bench, thereafter, asked the committee to submit a report indicating the steps it has taken to ensure women's safety. Delhi government standing counsel (criminal) Rahul Mehra and additional standing counsel Anuj Aggarwal told the court that all police stations, except two, in the city have operational CCTV cameras.
The remaining two stations will also get CCTV cameras installed soon, they told the bench. The court has been from time to time issuing directions with regard to increasing the number of police officers in the city, installation of CCTV cameras in police stations as well as vulnerable or crime prone areas, reducing delay in testing of samples in forensic science laboratories (FSL) and ensuring speedy disbursal of compensation to victims of sexual assault.
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