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Victim Compensation Scheme: Delhi HC Seeks Measures To Address Default In Sharing Data With DSLSA Apropos FIRs Pertaining To Sexual Offences

Akshita Saxena
18 Dec 2021 7:15 AM GMT
Victim Compensation Scheme: Delhi HC Seeks Measures To Address Default In Sharing Data With DSLSA Apropos FIRs Pertaining To Sexual Offences
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The Delhi High Court on Friday sought to streamline the process of supplying FIRs pertaining to commission of sexual offences to the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) for the purposes of granting interim compensation to the victims.The development ensued in the Court of Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri, in a case where no interim compensation was granted to a victim of sexual assault.The...

The Delhi High Court on Friday sought to streamline the process of supplying FIRs pertaining to commission of sexual offences to the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) for the purposes of granting interim compensation to the victims.

The development ensued in the Court of Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri, in a case where no interim compensation was granted to a victim of sexual assault.
The Bench was informed that at the time of sharing details with DSLSA, the FIR in the present case was registered under Section 363 (kidnapping) IPC however, subsequently Sections 376 (rape), 506 (criminal intimidation) IPC and Section 6 of the POCSO Act were added, which fact never came to the notice of DSLSA and for that reason steps for considering the prosecutrix's case for interim compensation could not be taken.
Keeping in view that such default in sharing of data apropos is recurring in nature, the Bench had sought measures to ensure that no victim is left without compensation/counseling .
Accordingly, Mr. Narendra Bundela (Joint CP (Legal)), Mr. Harinder (DCP (Legal Cell), Delhi Police) and Mr. Kanwal Jeet Arora (Member Secretary, DSLSA) joined the proceedings.
They informed the Bench that in a meeting held on December 14, some actionable points were discussed in this regard and it was decided that the Delhi Police will provide digital record of all the FIRs pertaining to sexual offences, registered from 2018 till date, to the DSLSA. Further, the details of approximately 87,000 FIRs pertaining to sexual offences registered in between 2012-2018 shall be provided to the authority in a hard disk. This will in turn enable the authority to cross-reference the cases in which compensation/counselling has not been provided to the deserving victims.
Member Secretary, DSLSA, also informed the Court that he had written to the District Judge Headquarters, calling upon all Special Judge(s) dealing in POCSO matters to share the record in how many cases before them, compensation is yet not given to the victims. Further, he stated that a letter will be addressed to the Director General of Prosecution, asking him to sensitize all the prosecutors to check if the victim has been given compensation, before filing of charge sheet.
Further, to ensure that such discrepancy in sharing of data is not repeated in future, the Court was informed that the Commissioner of Police, Delhi will also issue a circular directing all the Investigating Officers stating that whenever provisions pertaining to sexual offences are added to an FIR at a later stage, a copy of the same is sent to the DSLSA. Appropriate proceedings will be initiated against erring officers who don't following this circular, it was added.
That apart, arrangement shall also be made for fortnightly sharing of data in offline mode.
During the hearing, the Bench also highlighted the issues related to status reports that are filed in the Court. "We often see that status report have couple of issues. They are repetitive of contents of FIR but do not specifically state as to what is the role of accused and invariably don't show other involvements...Multiple status reports are filed and each of them are undated, it is so difficult to locate them," Justice Ohri said.
He suggested that there can be some standardized template to sort out these issue and ensure that all the aspects of accused and investigation come on record.
Accordingly, the Bench was ensured that the officers concerned will be sensitized over quality of filing of status reports.
The matter is now listed on 20th January.

Case Title: Umesh v. State (and other connected matters)

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