Today, the six convicts in the gang rape case of National Law School of India, University (NLSIU) student have been given life imprisonment by Sessions Court. The Court has also directed the Criminal Injuries Board of Karnataka to compensate the survivor for mental trauma.
The seventh accused is still absconding; the eighth accused is a minor and is facing the trial at a Juvenile Justice Board in Bangalore. The convicts found the survivor in the company of her male college mate at NLSIU campus. They attacked her college mate, took the survivor deeper into the heavily wooded campus and took turns to rape her. Traumatised after the incident which occurred in October last year, the 21-year-old law student had discontinued her studies in the prestigious NLSIU.
The maximum sentence is on expected lines, with the accused being already found guilty by the sessions judge. The direction for compensation for the mental trauma can be traced to directions of Supreme Court. Given the lack gender insensitivity, the rape victims are looked at differently, as if they committed a crime. The setting up of Criminal Injuries Board is based on the directions of Supreme Court in Delhi Domestic Working Women’s Forum Vs. Union of India and others (writ petition (CRL) No.362/93 ). The National Commission for Women was directed to evolve a “scheme so as to wipe out the tears of unfortunate victims of rape.’’ Having regard to the Directive Principles contained in the Article 38(1) of the Constitution, the Court directed setting up of Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, as rape victims, besides the mental anguish, frequently incur substantial financial loss and in some cases are too traumatized to continue in employment. The Court had further directed that compensation for victims shall be awarded by the Court on conviction of the offender and by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board whether or not a conviction has taken place.