Women protection officers: HC gives an earful to govt on delay

The Karnataka High Court on Monday rapped up the state government on the delay in appointing women protection officers as stipulated under the Domestic Violence Act 2005.

“Are you saying that the State is yet to make up its mind? Let the Government of Karnataka know that we will make it work if you can’t,” A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice A S Bopanna said while hearing a petition seeking implementation of the Act in toto.

The Court expressed its unhappiness when the government counsel submitted that the study on the need of protection officers was not yet complete.

Bounden duty

Appointment of the WPOs is the bounden duty of the government under the legislation and sufficient time has already been given, the Bench told the Advocate General and sought to know the time by which the officers would be appointed. The High Court, in September, directed that a study report on appointment of the officers be submitted.

The counsel for the petitioner had objected to the proposal on entrusting the respondibilities of WPOs to Child Protection Officers.

It was submitted that as many as 4,630 petitions had been filed under the Domestic Violence Act during the period April 2009 and March 2010. While 1,898 cases are still pending the information on the rest was not available.

The counsel claimed that a sum of Rs seven crore had been sanctioned exclusively for appointment of women protection officers.

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