DCW to strengthen legal arm to help more women

In order to fast-track proceedings of cases filed with it, the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) will seek assistance of lawyers from Delhi Legal Services Authority.

The commission, which currently has six lawyers, is going to partner with the statutory government body soon to expedite proceedings for ensuring justice to women, DCW officials said.

As soon she had taken over as the chief of the commission, Swati Maliwal had said she found that the role of lawyers in the Rape Crisis Cell and counsellors in the Crisis Intervention Centre needs to be improved and that she will increase the number of lawyers soon.

“Six lawyers are not enough to handle the cases. We will seek services of sensitive lawyers of the Delhi Legal Services Authority to strengthen our rape crisis cell and for other areas,” officials said.

Rape Crisis Cell (RCC) was set up by DCW in 2005 to provide free legal assistance to rape victims. A team supervised by experienced lawyers provides legal services to the victims. The RCC assists the prosecutor in the trial, opposes the bail application of the accused and facilitates recording of the statement.

The lawyers will also assist women in nari niketan (women shelter home), who are not being released due to legal hurdles, in their battle, the officials said.

The DLSA, which currently has 1,400 lawyers, provides free legal service to weaker sections of the society and it had proposed the idea to the commission to work in a collaborative way.

DCW chief Maliwal has also sought a report about the functioning of the Crisis Intervention Centre, which takes into account cases of sexual assault and provides counselling to rape victims. A discussion was also held among the commission officials to restore the helpline and make it effective.

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