On Thursday, 5th November Allahabad High Court observed that the filing of the writ petition praying for directions to create awareness regarding certain laws is not proper and that “it appears that such petitions are filed only for the sake of popularity.”
The writ petition filed by one Dr. Syed Rizwan Ahmed, seeking direction to organize public awareness campaigns by way of hoarding and releasing informatory audio and visual programmes to educate the public regarding sexual violence and the laws on the issue related to crimes against women and laws of 13th Criminal Law Amendment Act. The Bench of Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Saurabh Lavania was hearing a Writ petition.
After preferring the representation, the petitioner approached the court, letter dated 04.09.2018 was issued, requesting to take appropriate steps in the matter in issue to Joint Secretary (Judicial) C S Division, Ministry of Home Affairs.
The court view that, every citizen of the country is presumed to be aware of the laws of the land. But even then, it may be necessary at times to create awareness.
In a given case, if necessary, may issue directions for taking steps for creating awareness regarding certain laws, but filing of writ petition only, the court further observed.
The court didn’t find any averments that Government has not taken any steps for creating awareness aforesaid law in the petition.
The court noted that “In the absence of specific allegations that the Government has not taken any concrete steps regarding awareness of the said laws, we do not find it to be a fit case for issuing any direction in exercise of our extraordinary jurisdiction.”
It was informed the State of U.P. had already launched the Mission “Shakti” for the protection and security of the women in the State, by learned Addl. C.S.C. to the Court.
The writ petition was dismissed by the court, and the court said that “It may, however, be open for the appropriate Government to take appropriate steps in the light of the decision of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the ca in the case of Vishaka & Ors. Vs. State of Rajasthan & Ors. (1997) 6 SCC 241.”
Mission Shakti is a six-month drive to ensure safety and security of women and children. On 17th October, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath had launched the programme coinciding with the beginning of Navratri.
The Chief Minister said, “In the first phase of the Mission Shakti programme, we are going to spread awareness on women safety. In the second phase, legal action will be taken, and in the third phase, we will launch massive action against two kinds of people one who are a threat to the security of women and those who are promoting wide-scale corruption in schemes meant for the welfare of women,”
Case title –
Dr. Syed Rizwan Ahmed v. Union of India thru Secy Ministry of Home Affairs & Anr.
[P.I.L. CIVIL No. – 19502 of 2020]