Petition challenging differential compensation for male and female rape victims : Delhi High Court seeks response of Delhi Govt

Petition challenging differential compensation for male and female rape victims : Delhi High Court seeks response of Delhi Govt

The Delhi High Court has issued notice to the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi on a writ petition (criminal) filed by NGO iProBono through Advocates Diya Kapur and Tejaswi Shetty on behalf of a 13 year old victim of sodomy alleging discrimination between male and female victims of rape in the Delhi Victim Compensation Scheme.

The 13 year old boy who was subjected to sodomy by three senior students of his school claimed that though the three senior students were found guilty of the offence punishable under Section 377, IPC and resultantly convicted, he was provided with only Rs 50,000 as compensation since the Delhi Victim Compensation Scheme had classified the crime merely as child abuse and not rape. This, the petitioner claimed was "arbitrary, grossly inadequate and discriminatory" inasmuch as a minor girl would be entitled to compensation of Rs 3 lakh under the head of rape for a similar crime.

The petitioner thus averred that the scheme had effectively "discriminated against male-child victims of sexual assault by not recognizing penetrative assault on them as 'rape' and clubbing it as merely 'child abuse'. He accordingly sought enhancement of compensation provided to him under the Delhi Victims Compensation Scheme, 2011.

The petition says the case is one among thousands in which the Scheme had “effectively discriminated” against male-child victims of sexual assault by not recognizing penetrative assault on them as “rape” and clubbing it as merely “child abuse”

The petitioner sought enhancement of compensation to Rs 10 lakh as he was a victim of a brutal sexual assault which resulted in him undergoing immense and irreparable physical and psychological trauma and his parents suffered severe financial hardship as an aftermath of the incident.

Taking up the matter for admission last week, a Division Bench of the Delhi High Court comprising of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Ashutosh Kumar sought to know the response of the Delhi government to the plea of the petitioner and adjourned the matter till July 13, 2015.

Image from here.