New Delhi, Sep 16 (PTI) The AAP government has informed the Delhi High Court that it has ordered setting up of 15 special cells, one in each police district of the national capital, to deal with complaints of harassment and threats to couples of inter-caste marriages.
The submission was made on an affidavit placed before a bench of Justices J R Midha and Brijesh Sethi by the Home Department of the Delhi government which told the court that a safe house has also been set up to accommodate such couples.
In its affidavit, filed through Delhi government standing counsel Rahul Mehra and advocate Chaitanya Gosain, the Home Department said the decision to constitute the 15 special cells was taken on August 28.
The affidavit was filed in response to a habeas corpus plea by an NGO and a man claiming that his woman friend was allegedly being confined against her will by her parents who were opposed to her marrying him as they belonged to different castes.
The plea also claimed that the Supreme Court's direction to set up special cells to deal with problems faced by inter-caste couples and for their protection has not been complied with.
On the first date of hearing of the matter, on July 27, the high court had directed that if no special cell has been set up, it shall be set up before August 11 and the man's complaint would be registered by it and action in accordance with law be taken, Subsequently, on August 11, the Delhi government told the bench that appropriate steps were being taken to comply with the apex court directions.
Thereafter, on September 14, the Delhi government placed before the bench the status report of the steps taken by it.
According to the status report, a meeting was held on August 14 and it was decided that a special cell comprising the Deputy Commissioner of Police, District Social Welfare Officer and Representative of Women and Child Development department shall be set up in each revenue district.
However, on the next meeting held on August 21 it was observed that there are 11 revenue districts and 15 police districts and since they were not co-terminus with each other, it was decided to set up the cells in the police districts as the apex court had directed that the cells be headed by District Superintendents of Police, the report has said.
The report also said that while initially it was decided that the Social Welfare department would create and manage the helpline for complaints of harassment and threats to couples of inter-caste marriages, later a decision was taken that the Delhi Commission for Women would include such couples in their existing helpline -- 181 -- meant for women.
The court on September 14 directed that the matter be listed on October 6 when it will interact with the woman friend of the petitioner. PTI HMP SKV SA