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“Officials Busy In Parliament? So We Judges Sitting Here Doing Nothing?” Angry SC To Centre’s Lawyer

A Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur today pulled up the Centre for not filing “even after eleven months” an action taken report on the steps initiated to tackle cyber crimes and posting of videos of sexual assault on women and children which have gone viral on the internet.

“Tell us. What have you done in the past eleven months. See these things are in the public interest. Are you saying that you are not interested in the public ? The direction was given in December last year and today we are in November 2016. What were you doing”, the bench asked Advocate Bala Subramanium who appeared for the Centre.

What provoked the bench was that Subramanium while seeking a weeks time to file the reply said he needed to seek instructions from the officials who were “buzy in Parliament”.

“If the concerned officials are busy in Parliament, then what are we doing here? Do you think that we are sitting here for nothing. It can’t go like this,” the bench said while threatening to impose costs.

The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by NGO Prajwala on the issue. Social activist Sunitha Krishnan of the NGO had submitted to the court nearly 100 rape videos which she had received from the victims, for a detailed probe.

The court had last year asked the Centre to act on them and also to initiate steps to prevent such acts.

The Home Ministry had said in an affidavit that it has initiated steps to set up 150 specialised units to investigate crimes against women.

“In order to tackle cyber crimes comprehensively, MHA has already set up an expert committee to recommend a roadmap for tackling the menace”, it said.

As per the expert committee recommendation, a proposal has been initiated to set up Indian Cyber Crime Co-ordination Centre. But the bench wanted to know what the status of all these plans was now and if anything had been implemented or it was still in the shape of a mere “proposal”.

This article has been made possible because of financial support from Independent and Public-Spirited Media Foundation.

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