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Bengaluru Molestation: DCW Reaches Out… Or is it an Out-reach?

Bengaluru: Ever been to one of those weddings where your aunt’s friend asks your aunt, “abhi kuch socha hai (have you thought about it)?” about your wedding? That cringing moment is akin to what the Karnataka Home minister is going through now, now that the Delhi Commission for Women has asked the Delhi Police to lodge an FIR against him.

It’s perhaps the first time that one state government agency is trying to book a representative of another state government, for an incident that happened in the latter state.

On Wednesday, Delhi Commission for Women chairperson Swati Maliwal wrote to the Delhi Police chief asking for registration of an FIR under Section 509 of the IPC (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of woman) against Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara and Samajwadi Party MLA Abu Azmi. She further asked for an action-taken report on the same.

Both don’t live in Delhi and their rants on women were not made in Delhi.

“Our legal team is checking whether they have jurisdiction or not. If not, we will not respond, we will ignore it,” was all Parameshwara said.

Women rights activist Pramila Nesargi, who has headed the Karnataka Commission for Women earlier and has been strongly campaigning and protesting against Parameshwara’s statements, is surprised at the DCW’s action.

“Maybe they sent by mistake. Or without knowledge (of the law). Or it could be political also,” she told News18, adding that the DCW should be sending people notices over similar incidents (of molestation) that happened in Delhi, not other places.

Karnataka High Court advocate KV Dhananjay concurs. “We have our own state commission. And the National Commission for Women. They have jurisdiction, DCW can’t do anything.”

“Maybe they want to be seen as doing something. Or want to express their concern. Their act touches nothing, except for making news,” says Dhananjay.