Delhi Commission for Women
2nd Floor, 'C' Block,
Vikas Bhawan, I.P. Estate,
New Delhi - 110 002.
Phone No:+91-11-23378317, +91-11-23378044
1. About the Commission:
Delhi Commission for Women was constituted in 194 by the Delhi Commission for Women Act, 1994 and it started functioning in the year 1996. The Commission's mandate includes investigation and examination of all matters relating to the safeguards provided to women under the Constitution and other laws. The Commission is also enjoined to make recommendations for effective implementation of safeguards, which are necessary for improving the conditions of women in the capital. The Commission also takes up cases of violation of provisions for women as conferred in the Constitution and look into complaints and takes suo-moto notice of matters relating to:
- Deprivation of women's rights
- Non-implementation of laws
- Non-compliance of policy decisions, ensuring welfare and providing relief to women.
The Commission also calls for investigation into specific problems or situations arising out of atrocities against women and identifies the constraints so as to recommend strategies for removal. The Commission is expected to participate and advise on the planning process of socio-economic development of women and evaluates the progress of the development of women in the Capital. In addition to this, the Commission involves itself in visiting jails, remand homes and other women's institutions and places of custody where women are kept with a view to assess and evaluate conditions in which women are kept and thereafter send recommendations to government. The Commission provides legal aid to women in distress and presents reports to the government on matters pertaining to women.
2. Its Mandate:
- As per the Act, the Commission shall perform all or any of the following functions, namely.
- Investigate and examine all matters relating to the safeguards provided for women under the constitution and other laws;
- Present to the Government annually and at such other times as the Commission may deem fit, reports upon the working of these safeguards;
- Make in such reports recommendations for the effective implementation of those safeguards for improving the conditions of women in the Capital;
- Review, from time to time, the existing provisions of the Constitution and other laws affecting women and recommend amendments thereto so as to suggest remedial legislative measures to meet any lacunae, inadequacies or shortcomings in such legislations;
- Take up the cases of violation of the provision of the Constitution and of other-laws relating to women with appropriate authorities;
- Look into complaints and take suo-moto notice of matters relating to:
- Deprivation of women's rights.
- Non-implementation of laws enacted to provide protection to women and also achieve the objective of equality and development.
- Non-compliance of policy decisions, guidelines or instructions aimed at mitigating handships and ensuring welfare and providing relied to women, and take up the issues arising out of such matters with appropriate authorities.
- Call for special studies or investigations into specific problems or situations arising out of discrimination and atrocities against women and identify the constraints so as to recommend strategies for their removal.
- Undertake promotional and educational research so as to suggest ways of ensuring due representation of women in all spheres and identify factors responsible for impeding their advancement, such as, lack of access to housing and basic services, inadequate support services and technologies for reducing drudgery and occupational health hazards and for increasing their productivity.
- Participate and advise on the planning process of socio-economic development of women.
- Evaluate the progress of the development of women in the Capital.
- Inspect or cause to be inspected a jail, remand home, women's institution or other place of custody where women are kept as prisoners or otherwise, and take up with the concerned authorities for remedial action if found necessary.
- Fund litigation involving issues affecting a large body of women.
- Take periodical reports to the Government on any matter pertaining to women and in particular various difficulties under which women toil.
- Any other matter which may be referred to it by the Government.
3. Its powers:
As per provisions of the Act, the Commission shall while investigating any matter referred to in the Act, have all the powers of a Civil Court trying suit and in particular, in respect of the following matters, namely:-
- Summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person from any part of India and examine him on oath.
- Requiring the discovery and production of any document; receiving evidence on affidavits.
- Requisitioning any public record or copy thereof from any court or office.
- Issuing Commissions for the examination of witnesses and documents.
- And any other matter which may be prescribed.
4. Projects & Programmes:
Sahyogini : the pre-litigation counseling unit.
The Commission is running a family counseling unit called 'Sahyogini'. This is a continuing facet of services to women given by the Commission. A panel of members and legal advisers hold Sahyogini sessio0ns where counseling is done for disputing parties. Many hearings are conducted before the Commission reaches a final conclusion or solution for the affected women. it exercises the powers of a civil court to ensure compliance of its summons for witnesses and for evidence. Often disputes are settled and families are reconciled. Follow up is also done periodically for the cases handled by the Commission. Through Sahyogini, the Commission has created a friendly space where sensitive family issues can be discussed, counseling taken and reconciliation attempted at the pre- litigation stage.
Cases attended to pertain to the following areas:
- Matrimonial dispute
- Dowry related issues/dowry death, suicide
- Property related
- Harassment Related to Police
- Non Co-opration from Police
- Missing Kidnapping Harassment by neighbours
- Extra-marital relationships
Another initiative of the Commission to mitigate the sufferings of women from family ramblings was the setting up of Helpline in March 2000. It provides counseling help through telephone by counselors. This has proved to be a timely and appropriate intervention. Some cases are settled on the telephone itself but other that need to be worked upon are called to the Commission to the counseling units. Legal advice is also provided on line and in case of emergency, a field team is rushed to handle the situation. The Helpline provides counseling to about 25 callers of around 45-50 calls a day.
The issues dealt within the Helpline pertained to:-
- Matrimonial discord
- Family adjustment problems
- Physical and mental harassment by husband and in laws
- Harassment by neighbours or others
- Child custody
- Maintenance, divorce and desertion
- Dowry deaths
- Physical abuse
- Emotional distress
- Legal advice and implication
- Other miscellaneous problems of women.
Helpline Nos.: +91-11-23379181, +91-11-23370597, +91-11-23378044
6. Crisis Intervention Centers (CICs):
With a view to professionally handle the investigation of rape cases of minor victims and to rehabilitate the needy ones amongst them, Rape Crisis Intervention Centers (Sahara) have been set up in the police district of Delhi. The Delhi Commission for Women, Delhi Police and the associated voluntary organization work in an integrated partnership to run these centers and to achieve the objectives for which they are set up.
The objectives of Sahara are:-
- To provide support structure to the Crisis Intervention Cell (CIC) of the Police Department.
- To ensure transparency in the professional investigation, registration of FIR and medical examination.
- To reduce trauma and provide counselling help to the victim, family and the immediate attached community.
- Medical help where required, particularly for treatment of victim.
- To provide financial assistance to victim and family for the duration of investigation.
- To help in the rehabilitation of the victim.
CIC have been set up in 11 Districts in Delhi:-
- North-East Delhi
- East Delhi
- Central Delhi
- North Delhi
- North-West Delhi
- Outer Delhi
- South Delhi
- South-West Delhi
- West Delhi
- South East
- New Delhi
The Delhi Commission for Women reviews the cases if and when required to guide the functioning of CIC at periodic intervals. A copy of FIR in each case is sent to the Chief Coordinator and CAW Cell by the SHO of the same district for the follow up the Chief Coordinator ties up with the Commission for providing other needs, As well as quarterly meeting are held by Commission to review the functioning of the CICs. Helps in providing financial assistance to the needy victims through Trusts and Charitable Organizations.
7. Multi-purpose Cooperative Societies of Self Help Groups:
The thrust of the Commission’s programmes was on economic empowerment of women.One of the major initiatives taken by the DCW to achieve this objective was to set up pilots/experimental projects in collaboration with partner NGOs for empowering women and thus helping prevent crimes against women. The SHGs by and large function on the lines of thrift and credit society. Members of the groups make savings from their earning, loans given to the needy members and recovery of loan made with interest as fixed by the groups. The average number of members in a group is 20. As on date 12 NGOs are participating in this project and 244 self help groups are formed with 4200 women as members. The SHGs would be, by the year end, formed into Multi Purpose Cooperative Societies for the economic independence of the women.The Commission has been giving grants to the NGOs for the set up of the SHG groups.
8. Legal Empowerment :
Mahila Panchayats & Legal Awareness programmes:
Legal awareness and formation of Mahila Panchayats is another initiative taken for empowerment of women. Mahila Panchayat is an innovative collective approach for community participation in dispute redressal. These Mahila Panchayats offer crisis intervention and legal aid at community level and help tackle local legal disputes and assists in reduction and reconciliation of violence against women. After need assessment and motivation, community leaders are identified and these women are then motivated to volunteer as Mahila Panchayat members. The Mahila Panchayat members are trained in legal issues, dispute redressal mechanism, trained in the laws for crimes against women, given exposure about the existing legal position regarding property, maintenance, marriage, custody etc. They are also given training in counselling, FIR writing, pursuing with police station, proceedings for legal recourse. The Mahila Panchayat itself acts as a "Watch Dog" and its members after orientation, and training, can handle delicate and family disputes. They find solutions at the local level through the workers in the field itself. They link up with lawyers and issues that can not be resolved at the Mahila Panchayat level are either resolved by the lawyers, or alternative course of action is determined in consultation with lead NGO, lawyer and DCW. 39 Mahila Panchayats are now functioning all over Delhi.
Rape Crisis Cell:
Delhi, the nation’s capital city, is today witnessing increasing incidents of crime against women. Either in the streets or within homes, women in Delhi have to cope with crimes of various kinds. These include sexual assaults like rape, molestation and eve teasing as well as other forms of violence like domestic violence, dowry related violence, etc. Statistics show that the highest number of rape cases are recorded in Delhi. In fact, sexual harassment on the roads in Delhi has reached an all time high. Safety for women in cities does not flow directly from institutional or infrastructural factors but has to be strategically provided.
The services include:
- the availability of advocates and coordinators to the victims/families round the clock
- free legal services to the rape victims/their families from the time the complaint is lodged in the police station.
- help will be available to the victims to lodge the complaint at the police station, recording the statement
- to assist the police in ensuring that relevant provisions of the law are applied in each case,
- to ensure sensitive handling of the case by the police,
- to oppose bail applications made by the accused and assist the prosecutor in the case
- to represent the victims’ interest in the entire trial and if required at appellate stage also.
Online Registration of complaints:
On line registration of complaints is also now possible by visiting the Commission’s website
The complainant could also view the status of their complaints online.
Right to Information Act 2005
Assistant Public Information Officer: Assistant Secretary
Public Information Officer: Deputy Secretary
First Appellate Authority: Member Secretary