17 Aug 2022 10:20 AM GMT
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday called for sensitisation and advertisement of district special cells constituted in the city for providing protection to the inter-faith married couples, observing that it was the "need of the hour" to do so. Justice Jasmeet Singh was dealing with a plea filed by NGO Dhanak of Humanity which was approached by an inter-faith couple, seeking shelter in a...
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday called for sensitisation and advertisement of district special cells constituted in the city for providing protection to the inter-faith married couples, observing that it was the "need of the hour" to do so.
Justice Jasmeet Singh was dealing with a plea filed by NGO Dhanak of Humanity which was approached by an inter-faith couple, seeking shelter in a safe house.
The couple claimed that they were facing threat from their families and alleged that they were facing difficulty in getting a rented accommodation in the city. The couple had married in March last year under the Special Marriage Act against the wishes of their parents.
The plea was filed seeking directions on the Delhi Government as well as the city police to create special cells in South Delhi District.
As per the status report filed by the SHO, Mehrauli Police Station, it was revealed that as per the Apex Court's directions in Shakti Vahini case, 15 committees of officers were constituted as District Special Cells.
The status report further revealed that no complaints or PCR Calls were made by the couple to the concerned police station under whose Jurisdiction they were residing and that they were not getting any calls from their parents.
Accordingly, it was stated that the District Special Cell, South District came to the conclusion that the case was unfit for providing shelter in a safe house.
While the Court noted that the status report showed existence of district special cells, it also noted that the same failed to indicate the details of facilities and services provided by special cells.
The Court noted that it was also not revealed that how the said special cells will be advertised or publicized so that citizens and couples of inter caste marriages are aware of their existence, including the methodology of approaching the cells.
"It's a noble cause. But it shouldn't be an empty formality or paper exercise. Please sensitize people. In case they are at a nascent stage, please activate. It's the need of the hour. If it is an inter caste marriage, that needs to be protected," Justice Singh orally told the counsel appearing for the State.
Emphasizing on the need to advertise the special cells for protection of inter faith couples, the Court further remarked:
"Where are these special cells, did you advertise them? Did you say that these special cells are available for persons who marry inter faith? I didn't know about these special cells, even I am hearing about them for the first time."
"You must advertise… you must tell people. Police is for servicing the people and citizens of the Country and State. He (petitioner's counsel) says he didn't know, even I didn't know. What's so secretive about it?"
Accordingly, the Court directed the State to file a detailed status report indicating the queries raised by it as well as the number of cases dealt with by the district special cells.
The matter will now be heard on September 8.
Advocate Utkarsh Singh appeared for the petitioner.
Case Title: DHANAK OF HUMANITY & ORS. v. STATE (NCT OF DELHI) & ANR