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The Delhi High Court was Wednesday informed by the city government that there were separate lock-ups for women accusedin Tihar jail to protect them from sexual abuse, harassment and torture.

A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice R.S. Endlaw was informed by Delhi government’s standing counsel Zubeda Begum that jail No.6 in Tihar was exclusively meant for women and was managed by a woman officer.

The advocate said that as per the Supreme Court’s guidelines, Tihar jail has separate lock-ups for women accused.

She said the government will file a detailed affidavit in the issue.

The government’s response came on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by advocate Avadh Kaushik, who said there was an urgent need to bring down sexual abuse, harassment, ill-treatment and torture committed upon detained and arrested women in police lock-ups.

The plea said that in clear violation of law, there were incidents where police arrest women at night without accompanying women police personnel. 

The advocate pointed out two cases registered in Rohini, where two women were arrested at night without proper permission from the concerned magistrate courts.

“They were arrested by male police personnel, they were not produced before the concerned magistrate courts immediately but were produced the next day. And most importantly, in both cases, the women accused alleged that they were sexually abused, harassed, humiliated, and tortured at the hands of male police personnel in the police lock-up,” the advocate said.

The plea sought direction for random, surprise and regular visits and inspection of police lock-ups at night by judicial officers not below the rank of additional sessions judge and preferably by a woman judge.

The petition also asked for suitable sensitisation programmes to make metropolitan magistrates more trained, sensitive and judicial with respect to granting permission to police to arrest a woman at night

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