Home / News / India /  Delhi HC asks Centre to convene high-level meet to address domestic violence during lockdown

NEW DELHI : The Delhi High Court has directed the central government, Delhi government and other authorities to convene a meeting at the highest level to consider the issue of protection of women against domestic violence during the current nationwide coronavirus lockdown.

The division bench of Justice JR Midha and Justice Jyoti Singh issued notice to the Centre, AAP government, Delhi Commission for Women among others on the petition in an hearing via video conferencing.

The court has further directed for deliberations on what additional measures can be undertaken in order to curb the incidences of domestic violence as well as towards protection of the victims. They have been directed to file a status report before the next date of hearing.

The plea filed by an NGO called All India Council of Human Rights, Liberties and Social Justice (AICHLS) sought measures to curb domestic violence and protect the victims during the coronavirus lockdown.

“Stress, potential job or economic losses, the disruption of social and protective networks, and decreased access to services all are essential factors. As distancing measures are put in place and people are encouraged to stay at home, the risk of intimate partner violence is likely to increase even further. Women may have less contact with family and friends who may provide support and protection from violence. Women bear the brunt of increased care work during this pandemic." The plea had said.

The petitioner has claimed that certain more effective measures need to be put in place, as it is a matter of record and statistics that the cases of domestic violence are on a rise, on account of the women being confined to their homes.

The Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Maninder Acharya had informed the court that Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India, has issued an order taking cognizance of the spike in domestic violence cases on account of lockdown.The Ministry has noticed that a quick response mechanism is required due to special circumstances that are prevailing.

“Accordingly, the Ministry has issued certain directions to the concerned District Magistrates to make suitable duty roster for the concerned officers so that they are able to provide essential services to the affected victims of domestic violence," the ASG told the court.

“They have also been directed to undertake appropriate measures to provide transport as well as protective gears and other logistic support to the helpline personnel, enabling them to render help and take requisite measures in case calls are received from the victims," she added.

The court will next hear the matter on 24 April.

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