Friday, January 3, 2014

Sushiben Shah appointed as Maharashtra Women Commission

Maharashtra government on Tuesday appointed advocate Sushiben Shah as the as chairperson of Maharashtra State Women Commission. Daughter of a former minister BA Desai, the Mumbai resident will head the panel of six. A few years ago, Shah had started Priyadarshini, an all-women’s taxi service to ensure safer travel for women.
The other members on the panel include Chitra Wagh, Asha Mirge, Asha Bhise, Usha Kamble and Jyostna Vispute.
After keeping the post vacant for four years, the appointment finally came on Tuesday after the Bombay High Court, while hearing a PIL, ordered the Maharashtra government to name the chief.  Activists Vihar Durve and Meera Kamat had filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) stating that all the seven posts, including that of the chairman in the state commission for women, have been lying vacant since 2009.
In 2006, the state had formed the commission to take up issues related to women in the state, to protect their rights and take steps to curb practices that are derogatory to women. The PIL also stated that till May 2013, around 49,000 cases pertaining to atrocities on women was pending in several courts in the state. It is believed that the appointment was delayed because of infighting between various factions of the state Congress.
In response to the court’s orders, the Maharashtra Women and Child Development Department had assured the High Court that the chairperson and members of the State Women’s Commission would be appointed by December end.