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No Application Of Mind In Changes To Manodhairya Scheme Providing Compensation To Victims: Bombay HC

The Bombay High Court observed on Thursday that there was no application of mind in the changes brought about by the state government to Manodhairya Scheme in August this year.

The said scheme provides compensation for victims of sexual assault and acid attack.

Under the new changes, the amount of compensation to the victims of sexual assault and acid attacks was increased from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 10 lakh. However, the process of payment of compensation was modified. Also, Aadhar card is mandatory for grant of compensation of amount.

Only 25 per cent of the amount will be given to the victim and the remaining 75 per cent will be kept in fixed deposit for 10 years whereas, in case the victim is a minor, the period of fixed deposit will be 20 years.

Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice NM Jamdar were hearing a batch of PILs challenging the modifications to the scheme.

Commenting on the new maximum interim compensation figure of Rs. 25,000, CJ Chellur said: “What is a victim going to do with this amount, how is it possible for her to get treatment with this amount? It is clear that they (State) have not applied their mind. On the aspect of quantum of compensation, time taken for disbursement, there is a need for re-visitation of the matter, instead of adjudicating it in an adversarial manner.”

Thus, a 3-member committee was directed to be set up, comprising the Principal Secretary, Women and Child Welfare Department, Justice Mridula Bhatkar and Justice GS Kulkarni.

The court said the committee will listen to the opinions and suggestions of all the stakeholders, including NGOs that are working this area, and come up with a model scheme for compensation to these victims.

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