Delhi HC cracks down on eve teasing, calls it root of rape

Last Updated: Thu, Feb 20, 2014 00:07 hrs

New Delhi: Rape is an aggravated form of eve teasing, the Delhi High Court today observed while directing the Centre and city government to provide it details of areas in the national capital where sexual offences are rampant.

"Rape is nothing but an aggravated form of eve-teasing," a bench of Acting Chief Justice B D Ahmed and Justice S Mridul said, adding, "women feel unsafe in Delhi" and the issue of their safety is still a "question mark".

"Fact of the matter is that women feel unsafe in Delhi. Governments come and governments go, but safety of women in Delhi is still a question mark," the bench said and directed the Delhi government, "we want the map of areas where the eve teasing is happening, so we know what is the problem".

"Then we will employ a sociologist to study the reasons behind the problem," the court said, adding "you (governments) need to address the problem".

"If you have done crime mapping, then you will know where incidents of eve-teasing are happening in Delhi. Then you can employ NGOs to go and change the mindset of people in those areas as these crimes are committed by ordinary persons and not someone from outer space," it said.

The bench told Additional Solicitor General Rajeeve Mehra as to why the government has not been advised to conduct an "open house" so that people can come forward with their views.

It also asked the Centre and Delhi Government to find out "what is the societal problem, what is the mindset of cops and whether they are gender sensitised as claimed by the police".

"Are the male cops gender sensitise or are they still male chauvinists?" said the court while asking police if they are "registering FIRs if a girl complains of eve-teasing."

It also asked the police as to whether the general public was aware of the 24-hour special helpline and distress cell set up to deal with the complaints of eve-teasing.

"Everyone knows about 100. How many know of 181 (helpline number)? Not many we are sure. You have to make it known," it said.

The court was hearing a plea, filed by advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal, alleging that instances of eve teasing in Delhi has increased by over 700 per cent in 2013 and to direct the Centre and city government to implement the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court to prevent the offence from being committed.

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