Home States Delhi Apex court orders Rs. 15 lakh aid for disabled rape victim

Apex court orders Rs. 15 lakh aid for disabled rape victim

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(G.N.S) Dt. 03
New Delhi
The Supreme Court has directed the Himachal Pradesh government to deposit Rs. 15 lakh as a lump-sum compensation for the welfare of a differently-abled rape survivor who gave birth to a child.
A Bench of Justices J. Chelameswar and Sanjay Kishan Kaul ordered the State to deposit the money in an interest-bearing fixed deposit in a nationalised bank in the name of the victim.
The apex court modified a High Court order, which had directed that ₹30,000 be paid every month for life to the victim. The Bench agreed with the State’s counsel, advocate Varinder Kumar Sharma, that ends of justice would be better met if the victim, who suffers 80% disability, is paid a lumpsum. The interest from the deposit would be withdrawn by her parents. The court ordered that steps should be taken to ensure that the amount is actually spent on the welfare of the victim.
The Himachal Pradesh government had initially challenged the High Court order, saying there was no scheme for compensating a rape victim for a lifetime. It said the quantum of compensation awarded by the High Court was contrary to the scheme and the highest compensation payable was ₹1 lakh both in case of death and disability equal to or more than 80 per cent.
The High Court had found the victim in a doubly disadvantageous position as she had to maintain both herself and the baby.
In September last year, the Supreme Court had realised that there was “a lot of confusion” among three ministries — Finance, Home Affairs and Women and Child Development — over what their responsibilities were as far as the Central Victim Compensation Fund scheme, better known as the Nirbhaya scheme, for compensating rape victims was concerned.
The Centre had disbursed ₹200 crore each to the States to compensate sexual assault victims under the Nirbhaya fund, senior advocate Indira Jaising, the court’s amicus curiae, had submitted during the hearing of a PIL seeking uniform and early compensation for rape victims across the country. She referred to an affidavit filed by the Home Ministry and pointed out that the Centre had never asked for any feedback from the States on how they spent the Nirbhaya funds. Ms. Jaising said some States had spent the money on CCTV cameras and other “paraphernalia” rather than on paying compensation to the victims.
The senior advocate had submitted the court should make sure that compensation was disbursed at the time of the complaint filed by the sexual assault victim.
The Bench had pulled up the Centre, saying “you should have at least been conscious of the fact that there is a problem [with the Nirbhaya scheme]. You should have been pro-active. You are the person making the pay-out, you should have ensured that they [the States] are paying compensation to them [victims].”

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