Although the number of crimes against women rise day by day, many posts in the Maharashtra State Commission for Women continue to lie vacant. Taking a serious view of this, the Bombay high court on Thursday came down heavily on the state government and asked the state to inform the court by December 17 whether it plans to fill the vacancies and by when.
A division bench of justices SJ Vazifdar and Gautam Patel said that they would issue directions if the state fails to do this. “Inform us by Tuesday if the state government proposes to fill the vacancies or else, we will issue an order directing the government to do so,” said the judges.
The high court was hearing public interest litigations filed by activists Vihar Durve and Meera Kamat stating that all the seven posts, including that of the chairman in the state commission for women, have been lying vacant since 2009.
The commission was formed in 2006 to protect the fundamental rights of women, to take remedial measures against practices derogatory to women and so on, stated the PIL.
The PIL added: “The posts of the chairman and the six members were filled in 2006 for a tenure of three years. However, even after the end of the three-year tenure in 2009, no fresh appointments have been made by the state government.”
SR Bubna, counsel for the petitioner, said that till May 2013, around 49,000 cases pertaining to atrocities on women was pending in several courts in the state.
Last week itself, the court was informed by the government that the files seeking appointment of the chairman and members to the commission were pending at the chief minister’s office.