GR on rape victims: HC warns Maharashtra government of contempt action

The Bombay High Court on Thursday warned the Maharashtra government of contempt action if it fails to issue a resolution directing private hospitals to treat victims of sexual harassment, acid attack and rape free of cost.

A division bench of justices A S Oka and P D Naik which was hearing a bunch of petitions on the issue of womens' safety was informed by petitioner counsel Rajeev Chavan that the government had during earlier hearings in principle agreed to issue a resolution but has till date not done so. By the said decision, private hospitals will have to treat women who have been victim of rape or any sexual offence and the bill will be footed by the government.

"If you (government) informed the court about this but have still not issued a government resolution then we will initiate contempt action," the court said.

The bench posted the petitions for further hearing on June 21 and directed the government to inform the court about the resolution and also file a compliance report on what other steps it has taken on implementation on recommendations made by the Dharmadhikari committee.

The government had appointed the committee headed by retired Justice C S Dharmadhikari to suggest ways to curb crimes against women. The committee had, among other things, recommended a ban on dance bars, which remained open till late in the night.

It had also suggested that vulgar activities on Facebook and other social networking sites, mobile phones and computers should be monitored and tackled urgently.

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