Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Women’s panel sits on over 1,500 cases

‘No Members Inducted Since 2009’

Prafulla Marpakwar TNN 

Mumbai: A record 1,589 cases for a period ranging between one and four years are pending before the state women’s commission due to the Democratic Front (DF) government’s failure to constitute the panel. 
    “We were expecting that the commission would be set up soon, so that there will be time bound disposal of pending cases. But so far no decision has been taken. There is discontent among 
activists owing to the increasing number of pending 
cases,” a senior Congress 
minister. In the aftermath of the Delhi gangrape incident, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan had assured that the commission would be set up soon. “There is no commission since August 31, 2009. Currently, a senior bureaucrat is holding additional charge. The acting chairman is attending to only urgent matters. We will take it up with Chavan,” the minister said. 
    The national women’s commission was set up in 1963 it was followed by a state-level panel. Initially, apart from the chairperson, there were six other members and the panel enjoyed the powers of a civil court. 
    “The commission has the powers to inspect documents, summon an individual for deposing before the commission or appoint a se
nior official to probe into a specific case. The commission’s activities have come to a halt owing to the government’s inability to set up a commission,” he said. 
    According to a senior bureaucrat, a proposal to set up the commission was submitted to the CM’s office. However, owing to differences between the Congress and the NCP and due to disagreements in the Congress, a chairperson was not appointed and the charge was entrusted to the women and child welfare secretary Ujwal Uke, who stepped in to tackle certain sensitive cases. “He is holding additional charge and as such can’t do justice to his job,” he said.

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