However, the lawyer representing the police and an amicus curiae assisting the court in a PIL relating to women's safety differed on the response time taken by the police in answering the call.
The Delhi Police’s single emergency helpline number ‘112’ Tuesday came under the scanner of the Delhi High Court which tested it during proceedings and found it to be functional. However, the lawyer representing the police and an amicus curiae assisting the court in a PIL relating to women’s safety differed on the response time taken by the police in answering the call.
When the issue of the emergency helpline number was raised in the court, a bench of Justices G S Sistani and Anup Jairam Bhambhani tested the number by dialing it during the proceedings. ‘112’ was also dialled by various lawyers and police officials associated with the case as well as the court staff.
While the call by some of them could not be connected, when one of the court staff dialled the number, it was quickly answered and on disconnecting it, a call back was immediately received, Delhi government standing counsel (crime) Rahul Mehra, who was representing Delhi Police, said. However, advocate Meera Bhatia, amicus curiae in the matter, said the helpline number ‘112’ is less responsive and women in distress are not able to contact the police immediately through this number.
Mehra said the court appreciated the efforts put in by the police in making the helpline accessible and also asked the agency whether it was possible to access it through internet calling. The court also sought the Delhi government’s response with regard to deployment of ex-servicemen as marshals in various parts of the city and whether the Nirbhaya Fund can be utilised for this, Mehra told PTI.
Earlier, the court was informed by the Delhi Police counsel that the unused amount in the Nirbhaya Fund was over Rs 3,200 crore in 2017, out of which Rs 1,000 crore was earmarked for certain projects not yet functional. The Nirbhaya fund was announced in 2013 after the gang rape of a student in Delhi on December 16, 2012. The court was hearing a PIL initiated by it in 2012 after the horrific December 16, 2012 gang rape of a 23-year-old woman in a moving bus. She succumbed to her injuries days later.
The court has been from time to time issuing directions with regard to increasing the number of police officers in the city, installation of CCTV cameras in police stations as well as vulnerable or crime prone areas, reducing delay in testing of samples in forensic science laboratories (FSL) and ensuring speedy disbursal of compensation to victims of sexual assault.
Earlier, it had directed the Delhi government and the police to abide by the respective timelines given by them for filling up vacant posts in FSLs and installing CCTV cameras in police stations.