The Delhi High Court recently awarded compensation to the relatives of two murder victims, drawing from various judicial precedents, and noting that the fine ordered by the Trial Court was inadequate.
The Bench comprising Justice Vinod Goel and Justice G.S. Sistani directed the Delhi State Legal Services Authority to conduct a proper enquiry to identify legal heirs of the deceased victims, and pay them compensation within two months.
The same direction was issued in two separate appeals filed by murder convicts, Sushil Kumar and Zahid, who had both been convicted in the year 2000. The Court noted that the fine of Rs. 5,000, as imposed by the Trial Court in both cases, was inadequate, and noted that “even this meagre fine has not been ordered to be paid to the legal heirs of the deceased by the Trial Court.”
It proposed to deal with the aspect of grant of compensation to the victims, observing, “In the recent times, the victimology and rehabilitation has taken roots in the criminal administration of justice of our country. The law is also codified in this aspect and Section 357 and 357A of the Code deals with the subject. Furthermore the codes of law in this country are well guided by the Hon’ble Supreme Court.”
The Bench then went on to examine several Supreme Court judgments wherein the Court has observed that “victim of a crime or his kith and kin have legitimate expectation that the State will punish the guilty and compensate the victim.”
Since the incident dated back to 1989, and the appeal was filed in the year 2000, the Court noted that an assessment of the convict’s capacity to pay the compensation would be time consuming. It thereafter directed payment of compensation to the legal heirs of the victim, as per the Rules.
Read the Judgments here