If judge's call to 100 is unanswered, what about common man: HC

If judge's call to 100 is unanswered, what about common man: HC
"If there was no answer to a call made by a judge, what would happen when a common man dials it in emergency", said the the Delhi High Court today while expressing concern over the "poor" response on the police emergency helpline number, '100'.

"It is a serious issue. Dial 100 is meant for public and if it is not answered in emergency, what more we can expect?" a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath said.

The bench was referring to a letter received from Delhi High Court judge Justice Vipin Sanghi who had recently called the emergency helpline number, when stuck in a traffic jam, but his calls went unanswered.

The court on its own converted his letter, which was sent to the Police Commissioner as well as the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court, into a public interest litigation and sought the response of the Centre and Delhi Police regarding what Justice Sanghi had experienced.

"Find the reason (for the judge's call going unanswered). This is a very serious issue that you (the Centre and Delhi Police) need to look into, to make the service more effective and efficient," the bench said.

The court issued notice to the Centre and Delhi Police and directed them to file their replies by July 18 with regard to the issue raised by the judge that "distress calls were going unanswered or put on hold".

Justice Sanghi, in his letter addressed to Delhi Police Commissioner Alok Kumar Verma, has narrated his "poor personal experience" of calling up the helpline on April 29 when he was on his way to Vasant Kunj to attend a wedding reception.

"There was a big traffic jam in Vasant Kunj at a crossing and I was stuck for about 40 minutes. Since I could not spot any traffic policeman on the road to manage traffic, I called on 100 number at 10.12pm to inform police about the jam," the letter says.

According to the letter, despite holding the call for five minutes, it went on ringing and there was no answer.

"This despite the helpline being an emergency response mechanism. Any call made to 100 should be answered immediately as it is very likely that it may be called by people in grave emergency. In my view, this is a very serious issue that you need to look into, to make the service more effective and efficient," the judge has said in his letter.

Justice Sanghi has also said in his letter that he had called Verma also but the officer's number also went unanswered.

"I tried calling you repeatedly sometime later between 10.27-10.30pm, but unfortunately there was no response from your number as well," the letter states.

The judge has urged in his letter that the Police Commissioner ought to act promptly and provide feedback after inquiring into the aspect highlighted by him. "I would be interested in knowing the result of your inquiry," the judge has written.

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