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SC Reviews Arrangements Made For Well-Being Of 10-Yr-Old Rape Survivor Who Delivered A Baby; Issues Further Directions [Read Order]

The Supreme Court, on Friday, reviewed the arrangements made for the well-being of 10-year-old rape victim who recently delivered a baby girl after her plea to abort the unwanted pregnancy was turned down.

The Court was informed that the victim as well as the baby was being looked after well, with the assistance of a support person as well as a counselor and liaison officer appointed by the Child Welfare Committee. Besides, the medical report submitted by the Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh confirmed that the duo was in a stable condition.

It was also apprised of the communication sent by the Director of Social Welfare and Women and Child Development, U.T. Chandigarh of its intention to be the nodal Ministry to deal with the issue, in order to avoid multiplicity of authorities. It, therefore, directed the Director of the Social Welfare Department to attend to the educational needs of the victim.

The Court then went on to direct Mr. Mahavir Singh, Member Secretary of the Chandigarh State Legal Services Authority to ascertain the expertise of the support person, counselor and liaison officer appointed by the Child Welfare Committee. He has been directed to submit such information on the next date of the hearing.

“We expect full coordination between the support person as well as the counselor and liaison officer appointed by the Child Welfare Committee and the Director of the Department of Social Welfare in respect of the care of the victim as well as the new born baby. We make it clear that since there will be no multiplicity of authorities and the responsibility vests with the Director, Department of Social Welfare, there should not be any hindrance or obstruction in providing the necessary care and assistance,” the Bench comprising Justice M.B. Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta thereafter observed.

The Court, however, noted that the funds under the Victim Compensation Scheme had not been made available in full to the State Legal Services Authority. It was then assured by the State that the requisite funds will be transferred within a period of two weeks. The matter has now been listed for 22 September.

The Apex Court had earlier directed payment of a compensation of Rs. 10 lakh to the minor girl. It had ordered disbursement of an amount of Rs. 1 lakh immediately by the Chandigarh State Legal Services Authority, in order to tackle the immediate financial needs of the minor girl and the baby. The balance amount of Rs. 9 lakhs has been directed to be kept in a fixed deposit for the time being.

Read the Order Here

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