The Allahabad High Court today directed the Uttar Pradesh government to ensure that guidelines are followed by anti-Romeo squads and action is taken as per the law.
A report in The Times Of India says that the court did not find anything unlawful with the anti-Romeo squads, saying that “We are unable to gather any lawful or otherwise constitutional defect in the attempt made by the state government and its authorities in proceeding to form the squads for the purpose of such policing.”
The court is also said to have added that the actions of the state did not fall within the ambit of moral policing but “preventive policing”.
A Lucknow bench of Justices Amreshwar Pratap Sahi and Sanjay Harkauli gave the order on a PIL filed by a lawyer questioning the drive in UP. It alleged that the police was not following the guidelines during the drive, aimed at checking eveteasing, and was harassing couples.
The petitioner also raised the issue of shortage of police personnel and sought directions for proper guidelines regarding the drive.
On behalf of the state government, chief standing counsel Mansoor Ahmad contended that proper guidelines were issued by the DGP on March 22 and 25.
The court disposed of the petition with the direction to the state government to increase police personnel in the state as per police-public ratio, the petitioner said.
The anti-Romeo squads of UP police were formed after the Yogi Aditynath government came to power this month. It was one of the poll promises of the BJP.
With PTI Inputs