The Supreme Court today said "there is no safety in Delhi" and that judges are "concerned about providing a safe environment for women to live with dignity."
The remarks were made as the court asked the government to respond to a request that asks for the licence of a chartered bus to be cancelled if it violates any traffic law or provision of the Motor Vehicles Act. (Comment here)
Last month, a medical student was gang-raped on a moving chartered bus at night in Delhi. A male friend who was escorting her was hit with an iron rod. The same weapon was used on her so violently that doctors who treated her when she was brought to hospital hours later said her intestines were hanging out. The student died two weeks later.
The savagery of the attack has forced a national discourse on the vulnerability of women in public spaces in Delhi and the multitude of lapses by the police that allowed the horrific crime.
The bus that Amanat (NOT her real name) boarded with her friend was run by a private operator, who had furnished forged documents for its registration and has been arrested. The same bus had reportedly been held guilty for several major traffic violations in the last few years, but was not impounded.
White lettering on its side declared it was a school bus, so the fact that it was on the roads at night should have triggered suspicion. It had tinted windows and curtains, which is illegal in the Capital. Yet the bus passed through a series of police checkpoints without being pulled over as the student was being attacked within.