New Delhi: The Delhi High Court sent out a strong message to those involved in eve teasing by upholding Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC)’s terminating order of service of a driver and conductor in a 1993 eve-teasing case.
The High Court broadening the scope of the writ petition, which alleged that the driver and the conductor were involved in the 1993 eve-teasing case, and also asked the Delhi government and DTC whether they have any mechanism to check and prevent such incidents.
Justice Kailash Gambhir while seeking an affidavit from the government on the matter, said: “An overwhelming majority of women in Delhi don’t feel safe”.
The court also cited cases of eve teasing cases going unreported and said: “The immeasurable damage that eve-teasing does to a woman’s self-esteem could hardly take us on the way to achieving gender equality. Even today one cannot ignore the reality that an overwhelming majority of women in Delhi do not feel safe. One does not need hard-hitting statistics to prove this, but a daily scan of newspapers will give a reality check as to how women face violence in the city on roads, buses and market places.”
In the High Court, the DTC had challenged a labour court’s order that cancelled the termination order of the driver and conductor of the bus
The High Court found that Jai Pal Singh did not stop the eve-teasers from harassing the girl in 1993 and also acted. The court also asked the DTC to file a compliance report by April 7.
‘‘It is common knowledge that most women rely on public transport, especially buses, for day-to-day travel. It is often seen that women feel threatened not only by antisocial elements travelling on the bus but equally by persons manning the bus. The drivers and conductors who are supposed to act as saviours often indulge in acts of indecency if they find a lone female passengers in the bus,’’ High Court said.
The court also criticized both the driver and conductor and said: “The case exemplifies the irresponsible and pathetic behaviour of the employees of the public transport department. Had the driver immediately applied the brakes and halted the bus, the gruesome incident could have been avoided. Both the conductor and the driver not only failed in their duty, but were hand-in-glove with the accused,” the court said. “The only remedy is to have informed and sensitive citizens. The drivers and conductors should be sensitized towards issues relating to gender violence.”