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HC issues notice to DOT to provide dowry-related helpline for Mah

Written by: Staff

Mumbai, Mar 24 (UNI) Bombay High Court today served a notice to the Department of Telecommunications (DOT) to provide a common-number helpline for the whole of Maharashtra for dowry-related problems and counselling.

Justice V M Kanade gave this direction to DOT in response to a reply filed by Maharashtra Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) that they could not provide a number for the purpose, without permission from DOT.

Earlier, while dealing with a number of dowry-related harassment and suicide petitions filed under Section 498(A) of the Indian Penal Code, the court came down heavily on the State and held that rather than registering such offences, eforts should be made to form a policy to minimise such incidents. The court also asked the State to work on setting up counselling centres at zila parishad level and work out a common helpline number.

A State policy for the rural, as well as urban level dowry-related problems will be formed after the State budget session, Advocate General Ravi Kadam informed the court.

Following the court's earlier direction, the Advocate General had organised a meeting on March 21 with MTNL and BSNL officials, DIG Rashmi Shukla, DCP Sanjay Aparanti, Women and Child Department Secretary Vandana Krishna, Chief Public Prosecutor Satish Borulkar and Public Prosecutors Mankunwar Deshmukh and S D Shinde.

MTNL and BSNL had then informed that a helpline number - 10920 already existed for Mumbai and another number for the whole of Maharashtra could not be provided without permission from DOT.

The DOT has to file a reply regarding the same by April 24.


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