The Sindh High Court (SHC) has directed the provincial home department to ensure that one women police station is housed in every district of the province and all posts be filled preferably within three months by way of recruitment rules.
Hearing an application with regard to the woman shelter homes, a single bench of the SHC headed by Justice Salahuddin Panhwar inquired the home secretary about the issuance of a notification with regard to the women police station, to which the secretary submitted that the women police stations were to be notified by the department, though in different districts they had established women police stations which were without SNEs and notification.
The home secretary assured the court that the department would submit all SNEs as proposal for final approval within one month with the consultation of the finance department regarding the women police stations. The high court directed the finance secretary to provide every assistance with regard to the establishment of the women police stations and observed that the concept of women police station was to provide the sense of security/safety to a majority of the population who shall feel safe and secure while reporting their grievances to women police officers and it will help the victims receive justice.
The high court directed the Sindh police and the women development department to ensure that close circuit TV cameras were installed in front of and inside the women shelter homes and safe houses to ensure safety of the inmates.
The SHC was informed that the Sukkur police had registered a criminal case against senior clerk of shelter home and others who were found involved in the commission of rape offence with inmates of shelter home after a judicial inquiry conducted by the district and sessions judge. The high court observed that the incident with regard to rape committed by officials showed misfeasance of officials.
Regarding the Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act 2013, the women development secretary submitted that the amended rules had been sent to the law department for vetting. The secretary however admitted that the department had not prepared the recruitment rules yet and sought one month time to prepare the recruitment rules, to be submitted to the services department.
The bench took exception to the lack of recruitment rules in the department and observed that how the department could effectively work without recruitment rules and policy as its required posts could not be legally filled if the recruitment rules were missing.
The SHC also directed the women development department to submit a compliance report with regard to establishing school/centres for those girls who were victims of forced marriages or intended to continue their study but due to customs, their families did not permit them to do so.