Acting Chief Justice BD Ahmed and Justice Sidharth Mridul said they wanted to know whether the "phenomenon of sexual aggression against females was a social or a policing problem".
The bench remarked that "rape is nothing but an aggravated form of eve teasing" and said the Delhi government could also "involve sociologists to study the reasons behind such crimes".
"Give us crime maps where eve teasing cases are happening. We have to know where the problem is. You (police) have to address the problem. It is the common man who is committing the crime. "It is a social problem. The crimes are committed by people... We have to find out what is wrong with (such) people. Why are they indulging in (these) crimes?" The court said the government could consider introducing lessons against "eve teasing" in school books.
The Delhi administration said it introduced last year a three-digit emergency helpline number 181 for women.
The bench said: "Everyone knows about 100. How many know of 181? Not many, we are sure. You have to make it known to the people." It added that a women helpline number was of no use if it was not publicised properly. The court was hearing a PIL filed by advocate Gaurav Bansal which cited surveys by independent groups claiming a spurt in crime against women and sought directions for taking adequate steps to prevent it.
The PIL pointed out that the Delhi government had failed to provide an atmosphere conducive to the growth of girl students and women. The PIL submitted a press release issued by Delhi Police in April last year which said incidents of molestation and eve teasing had recorded 600 percent and 783.67 percent rise respectively in recent years.