Identify dark public places to fix more street lights, HC tells police

New Delhi, Jan 25 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the city police to identify unlit public areas in the national capital which required more street lights based on crime-mapping exercise undertaken by police in the past.

A Division Bench of Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice Ashutosh Kumar directed all civic agencies in Delhi to put their logos and telephone complaint numbers on each street light pole under their respective jurisdictions.

The court order came after Delhi Commission for Women Chairperson Swati Maliwal said that the commission was facing problems in figuring out who was responsible for the street lights in different areas.

She said a West Delhi area was quickly becoming “prone to a lot of rape incidents because of poor street lighting”.

On recruitment of additional personnel in Delhi Police, the court was told that out of additional 54,482 posts required to improve policing, only 14,753 new posts have been cleared by the Home Ministry and that too is pending approval by the “competent authority”.

The court asked the Centre and police to submit a status report on when the new appointments will be made and what happened to the remaining proposals.

Amicus curiae, lawyer Meera Bhatia, drew the court’s attention over the non- installation of closed-circuit television in public areas and police stations in Delhi.

The court directed the Centre, police and city government to clarify their stand on installation of CCTVs in all police stations and crime-prone areas.

The court was hearing the issue suo motu after the December 16 gang rape case for the safety of women in national capital.

It declined to entertain Maliwal’s plea for a direction to the Lt. Governor to include Aam Aadmi Party government’s ministers in the reconstituted Special Task Force for women safety.

The court, however, asked Lt. Governor Anil Baijal to consider including the Delhi State Legal Service Authority (DSLSA) representative(s) in the 12-member task force reconstituted on January 20.

The DSLSA is the sanctioning authority which decides the quantum of compensation to be awarded to the victims of various crimes.

The task force, established in 2013 following the gang-rape of a 23-year-old woman in a moving bus December 16, 2012, was disbanded last year.

The court posted the matter for hearing on March 1.