No safety for women on Delhi roads: Supreme Court

New Delhi, Jan 11 (IANS) Holding that there was no safety for women on Delhi's roads, the Supreme Court Court said Friday: "We are failing to treat women with dignity, equality and respect."

The observation came as the court issued notice to the central government, the National Commission for Women (NCW) and the Delhi government's State Transport Authority on a public suit questioning the validity of the two finger test conducted on rape victims.

A bench of Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice Dipak Misra issued the notice on a petition filed by Nipun Saxena, a fourth year student of Delhi's National Law University and Ankita Chaudhary.

The court was told that the invasive two finger test was against the dignity of women. The PIL asked the government to ascertain "the feasibility of "two finger test" as a medical procedure, contending it was "ex facie against the dignity of rape victim".

Seeking framing of elaborate guidelines for the manner in which immediate medico legal assistance is to be provided to the victims of rape, the petition has sought direction that the informant of such happenings should not be confined and harassed or interrogated and the name provided by the victim himself.

The PIL has sought direction to the State Transport Authority and the Delhi Police chief to "cancel/revoke license of such permit holders who are in violation of provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act especially in view of the recent increment in rapes, and to conduct immediate inquiry into the antecedents of such drivers/ license holders."

The suit also sought the setting up of a criminal injury compensation board in the country, and a status report entailing the steps taken by the central government and the NCW to establish it.

Saxena contended that the court's direction 16 years ago to establish the compensation board had not been followed so far.

The public suit comes in the wake of the gang-rape of a 23-year-old woman in a moving bus Dec 16 and her subsequent death in a Singapore hospital where she was airlifted for specialised treatment. The incident sparked outrage across India and led to calls for stricter laws against rape and molestation of women.

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