The Status of Policing in India Report 2019 stated that 20% Policewomen complained about lack of appropriate toilets in their respective Police Stations and who it is affecting their work. Now in a Public Interest Litigation, a group of Law Students have approached the Allahabad HC seeking directions to construct separate toilets for women in Police Stations.
The students appeared in person before the bench consisting of Justice Sanjay Yadav and Justice Jayant Banerji on 3rd February 2021.
The primary relief sought in the petition was the issue of an order directing the construction of ladies' toilets in all police stations at the earliest. It was further pleaded that the toilets so constructed be equipped with all necessary facilities like toiletries running water, electricity, fan, doorknob with keeping in view the privacy and dignity of women.
Directions for rapid completion of partially built toilets and repair of damaged toilets in the Police stations in Allahabad city and to equip them with all facilities necessary was also pleaded for by the petitioner.
The Students also asked for the constitution of a monitoring committee headed by a women Police Officer to periodically inspect and report on the maintenance of ladies' toilets in Police Stations.
The State of Uttar Pradesh represented through Principal Secretary (Home) Lucknow and Director General of Police (DGP), Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh as Respondent no.1 and 2 were asked to be given direction to make sufficient budgetary allocation for the construction and maintenance of washrooms and toilets in the police stations.
After the primary hearing of the petitioners, the court asked the Standing Counsel to place a status report as to how many Police Stations in the State are not having toilets for women.
The availability of appropriate toilet facility at the police station not only affects the policewomen but also limits the access to the law-and-order machinery for women. So, the issue is of grave importance which requires immediate attention.
The petition is filed for a fresh hearing after the report is obtained.