Protection from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 and wide publicity to be given to the provision of this Act for its effective and meaningful implementation.HE Supreme Court Monday sent notices to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development and the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on a petition seeking appointments of Protection Officers, registration of Service Providers and Shelter Homes as required under the
A two-judge bench of Justices U.U. Lalit and S. Ravindra Bhat was hearing a petition filed by “We the Women of India”, an unregistered citizens’ network that includes lawyers, academics, doctors, social activists and students working in the field of women’s rights.
The bench said state governments need not be issued notice for the time being even as it verbally observed that it would ensure the Central Government monitors the effective implementation of the Act by all the states.
Appearing for the petitioner, advocate Shobha Gupta submitted that not all states had appointed the Protection Officers, Service Providers and the Shelter Homes as mandated under the DV Act.
The plea contended that the Act contains provisions requiring the appointment of Protection Officers, registering Service Providers and Shelter Homes for providing the aggrieved women with counseling, legal aid, shelter, etc. But in reality, these facilities have not been adequately set up by the respective government.
“A district-wise list of protection officers, service providers, and shelter homes in respect of all States is not available online or otherwise”, the plea alleged.
It added that under the DV Act, an aggrieved person can directly approach the Protection Officers, Service Providers, Shelter Homes for help and necessary remedies but these facilities are contingent on the fact that Protection Officers and Service Providers are appointed under this Act and the information to contact these authorities is made available to the public.
The plea also urged the Court to direct maximum publicity is given to the provisions of the DV Act.
“There is a need to initiate campaigns on a nationwide level in order to reach out even the last person on the fence. There is an urgent need to maximize publicity of the resources which are available for an aggrieved person to reach out to”, the plea read.
It mentioned that the website of the National Commission for Women(NCW), the list of protection officers of only 14 states are available. They are Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Goa, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. Besides, the UT of Delhi is also on the list.
The list of service providers and shelter homes is still not there even in respect of these States, the plea claimed.
It urged that the issue of crime against women needs to be taken up as a mission by all the governments concerned.