New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has directed the chief secretary to look for ways to utilise the government-allocated money called ‘Nirbhaya Fund‘ for the cause of women, children and their security, stated news agency PTI. Notably, the government had announced the Nirbhaya Fund in 2013 following the brutal gang rape of a student in Delhi on December 16, 2012.

Pointing out the problem of shortage of staff in the Delhi Police department, the High Court suggested that the Chief Secretary take steps to unburden the local police by employing additional staffs from Directorate General Resettlement (DGR), comprising ex-servicemen from armed forces and other agencies. Speaking in favour of the Delhi Police, standing counsel (crime) of the Delhi government Rahul Mehra told the High Court bench, “Four years ago there was a shortage of 61,000 personnel in the department and now the vacancy is around 52,000,” according to news agency PTI.

The counsel for Delhi Police had informed a bench comprising Justices G S Sistani and Anup Jairam Bhambhani that as on 2017, more than Rs 3,200 crore of the Nirbhaya Fund lay unused. The counsel noted that of the total unused amount, Rs 1,000 crore was earmarked for certain projects which were not yet functional. “Since a large sum is available in the fund, we direct that the Chief Secretary shall examine as to how this fund can be utilised for providing uniformed security to women and children in the city,” the bench was quoted by news agency PTI as saying. The court added that this exercise to utilise the funds will help curb the crimes committed against women and children.

The Delhi High Court also asked the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) of the Crime Branch Rajesh Deo to consider the presence of women officials in plain clothes in some of the market and vulnerable areas for the safety of women and children as it would act a deterrent to criminals.

Advocate Meera Bhatia suggested that a special cell be created to monitor and investigate all cases relating to crime against women. Agreeing with the Delhi Police’s suggestion on the matter, the court said that instead of creating a special cell for probing cases of crime against women, a central cell be formed to monitor these matters by senior officials.

(With inputs from PTI)