Formulate Uniform Victim Compensation Scheme for Victims of Sexual Assaults; SC [Read Judgment]
“Indisputably, no amount of money can restore the dignity and confidence that the accused took away from the victim. No amount of money can erase the trauma and grief the victim suffers. This aid can be crucial with aftermath of crime.”, said the Court.
A two Judge Bench of the Supreme Court has directed the State Governments to formulate Uniform Schemes for the Victims of Sexual Assaults. The Bench comprising of Justices MY Eqbal and Arun Mishra were hearing an Appeal filed by an Accused challenging his conviction and sentence under S.376 IPC.
After upholding the Conviction and Sentence on the Accused, the Court examined the question as to ‘whether in the facts and circumstances of the case the prosecutrix is entitled to victim compensation and, if so, to what extent?’
The victim in the Case is a blind and illiterate girl, who was subjected to sexual intercourse on the promise of marriage.
The Counsel for Chhattisgarh State submitted that the State of Chhattisgarh has notified Victim Compensation Scheme under Section 357-A, Cr.P.C for providing fund for the purpose of compensation to the victim or his dependents who has have suffered loss or injury as a result of crime and who require rehabilitation.
The Court also examined the Schemes notified by other State as well. After examining the schemes, the Court held as follows;
“Perusal of the aforesaid victim compensation schemes of different States and the Union Territories, it is clear that no uniform practice is being followed in providing compensation to the rape victim for the offence and for her rehabilitation. This practice of giving different amount ranging from Rs.20,000/- to Rs.10,00,000/- as compensation for the offence of rape under section 357A needs to be introspected by all the States and the Union Territories. They should consider and formulate a uniform scheme specially for the rape victims in the light of the scheme framed in the State of Goa which has decided to give compensation up to Rs.10,00,000/-“
It is also observed that “while going through different schemes for relief and rehabilitation of victims of rape, we have also come across one Scheme made by the National Commission of Women (NCW) on the direction of this court in Delhi Domestic Working Women’s Forum vs. Union of India and Ors. [Writ Petition (Crl) No. 362/93], whereby this Court inter alia had directed the National Commission for Women to evolve a “scheme” so as to wipe out the tears of unfortunate victims of rape. This scheme has been revised by the NCW on 15th April 2010. The application under this scheme will be in addition to any application that may be made under Section 357, 357A of the Code of Criminal Procedure as provided in paragraph 22 of the Scheme. Under this scheme maximum of Rs.3,00,000/- (Three lakhs) can be given to the victim of the rape for relief and rehabilitation in special cases like the present case where the offence is against an handicapped woman who required specialized treatment and care”
Finally the Court passed the following directions
1) All the States and Union Territories shall make all endeavour to formulate a uniform scheme for providing victim compensation in respect of rape/sexual exploitation with the physically handicapped women as required under the law taking into consideration the scheme framed by the State of Goa for rape victim compensation;
2) So far as this case is concerned, the respondent-State shall pay a sum of Rs.8,000/- per month as victim compensation to the victim who is physically handicapped, i.e. blind, till her life time.
Read the Judgment here.