The Karnataka High court has dismissed a petition filled by a rape victim seeking compensation under the victim compensation scheme, as she turned hostile during the trial and the accused was acquitted.
Justice Alok Aradhe while dismissing the plea seeking Rs 7 lakh compensation from the Karnataka State Legal Aid Services Authority, said
"From the perusal of the relevant clauses of the Karnataka Victim compensation scheme 2007, it is evident that the victim has to cooperate with the prosecution during the investigation and the trial and the complaint filed by her should not be fabricated. In the instant case, admittedly during the course of the trial, the petitioner as well as her father were declared hostile, in other words, they violated clause 6(3) of the scheme and therefore, were not entitled to seek compensation."
As per the petition the victim was allegedly raped on March 3, 2014. On the complaint made by the petitioner, the First Information Report was lodged and after completion of the investigation the police filed the charge sheet against the accused persons. On May 22, 2015, father of the petitioner made a representation for grant of compensation under the Victim Compensation Scheme before District Legal Services Authority. The authority passed an award on March 24, 2018, by which the petitioner was directed to pay a sum of Rs.3 Lakhs as compensation.
In her challenge to the communication of the legal services authority setting aside the compensation award, it was argued "Petitioner is entitled to grant of compensation even if the accused is acquitted and the petitioner is declared hostile." While the authority relied on para 6(3) of the scheme, and has submitted that the victim is under an obligation to cooperate with the police and the prosecution during the investigation and trial of the case and since, the petitioner was declared hostile, therefore, State Legal Services Authority has rightly recalled the order granting compensation.
The court agreed with the submissions of the authority and dismissed the petition. As regards to the authority not giving a hearing to the petitioner before passing the order for setting aside the award the court said "However, in the peculiar fact situation of the case, the principles of natural justice have no application. It is well settled in law that principles of natural justice do not apply to a case where on admitted facts only one conclusion is possible."
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