Inordinate delay on part of Railway Board led to delay in GRP deployments, argues Maharashtra Govt.

The inordinate delay on part of the Railway Board in taking a decision about sharing expenditure with the state government for deployment of additional Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel to improve the safety of  has also led to the withdrawal of home guards deployed at railway stations.

The state had informed Bombay high court on June 25 that it sent a proposal for providing 100 additional police personnel in women’s compartments to the Railway Board in September 2011. The proposal requires that the Railways share 50% of the cost of salaries of the new recruits. The state also told court that it had since then sent several reminders to the Railway Board, but had got no response.

On June 25, advocate general Darius Khambata also told the court that owing to lack of response and audit objections, the state has withdrawn home guards posted at stations.

The state was responding to a bunch of public interest litigations, one of which is based on two Hindustan Times reports on the plight of women commuters – one of it was a new story about the molestation of a 25-year-old Nerul resident travelling alone in a local train and how the GRP discouraged her from filing a complaint after the incident.

On July 25, the division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice MS Sanklecha directed the railway board to make up its mind by August 30.

The state has said that currently two armed GRP personnel are stationed in women’s compartments between 8.30pm and 6.30am every day. However, there is no police presence in compartments during the day.