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Ensure women’s toilets in every police station, Allahabad HC tells Uttar Pradesh government

The Division Bench of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Saurabh Shyam Shamshery passed this order while hearing a PIL filed by Anjali Pandey And 12 Others.

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The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday has told the Uttar Pradesh government to ensure women’s toilets are built in all police stations. While hearing a PIL on this, the Court observed, “In the absence of adequate facilities to meet essential human requirements, life cannot be led with dignity.”

The Division Bench of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Saurabh Shyam Shamshery passed this order while hearing the PIL filed by Anjali Pandey and 12 others.

The petitioners, law students of different law colleges, have raised an important issue relating to availability of basic amenities at different police stations in Uttar Pradesh for women police personnel and women accused.

As per the averments contained in the petition, most police stations in Uttar Pradesh do not have adequate amenities for women police personnel at their workplace. Reference of each and every police station at the city of Prayagraj was given with the deficiencies existing.

The Court referred to the judgment of Supreme Court passed in Virender Gaur and others Versus State of Haryana and others reported in (1995) 2 SCC 577, it is stated that Article 21 of the Constitution of India protects the right to life as a fundamental right.

The Standing Counsel, while responding to the petition, submitted that a complete project has been undertaken by the state of Uttar Pradesh to provide basic amenities to women police personnel and work in pursuance thereto is in progress. He has referred a document dated February 12, 2021 addressed to Deputy Inspector General of Police, Prayagraj by Additional Director General of Police, Police Welfare, Uttar Pradesh.

As per the proposed project, one toilet/washroom is to be constructed for every four women employees. At 51 police stations, construction work is in progress to have toilets/washrooms for females. At 291 police stations, work for construction of visitors room is in progress. The visitors rooms are also having facility of toilet and washroom. At 394 police stations, approval has already been granted much back in 2001-02 to have a separate Mahila Police room with toilet.

As per the Standing Counsel, on completion of the project, women police personnel shall be having adequate facilities relating to washrooms, toilets, etc.

“So far as the project noticed above is concerned, we would like to state that the same is pending finalization since long. The issue before us is immediate availability of toilets/washrooms and other essential amenities for female police personnel at different police stations. Nothing has been stated in this regard on behalf of the state,” the Court said.

The Standing Counsel wanted some time to acquaint the Court about immediate steps which are to be taken by the State to meet the urgent requirement of having toilets and washrooms at different police stations with complete hygiene.

The next hearing of the petition will be on February 22.

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