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Rape victims still await compensation from govt

Avinash Singh Sudan, New Delhi, Dec 3, 2014, DHNS: 8:14 IST

Court told city govt to give relief amount within 2 weeks

Despite the High Court’s order to provide speedy compensation to rape victims within two weeks under the Delhi Victims’ Compensation Scheme, a few of them are awaiting relief amount for the past many months, said an NGO.

Under the scheme, the minimum compensation to a rape victim is Rs 2 lakh to Rs 3 lakh. In cases of loss of life, the minimum compensation is Rs 3 lakh, which goes on to Rs 5 lakh.

In March, the Delhi High Court had directed the city government to ensure “disbursement of the amount of compensation within two weeks and called upon the concerned authorities to process the compensation order within such time.”

But three such victims have been waiting for compensation for months, and the youngest among them is waiting since March last year, said NGO Pratidhi.

According to documents received by the NGO from the Lieutenant Governor’s office, the case of a 16-year-old rape victim whose FIR was registered with Shakarpur police station on March 1, 2013 has been pending with the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA).
The NGO said that agencies are busy “passing the buck”.

“In a letter, DLSA had stated that although it has passed the order for grant of compensation to victims of crime within 30 days of the receipt of reconsideration, there is unexplained delay in disbursement of compensation to the victims at the end of the office of the divisional commissioner,” said the NGO.

Pratidhi took up the matter with the LG’s office and provided a list of five victims who did not get interim compensation. “A letter dated October 30 received from the LG’s office informed that only two victims have got compensation and three cases are still pending with DLSA,” said the NGO.

The other two cases are of a 32-year-old and a 52-year-old woman whose FIRs were registered with Ghazipur and Shakarpur police stations under sections 376 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code, said the documents.

As per Section 8 of the scheme, the Delhi Legal Services Authority may order for immediate first-aid facility or medical benefits or any other interim relief, as deemed appropriate, to be made available free of cost, to alleviate the suffering of the victim.
“But due to procedural problem and lethargy of the nodal agencies, victims are deprived of their entitlements,” said the NGO.

The Delhi Victims’ Compensation Scheme was notified on February 2, 2012 and a budget of Rs 15 crore was allocated by the government. The scheme applies to victims and their dependents who have suffered loss, injury or require rehabilitation.

Victims of sexual assault are also entitled to get compensation under the scheme, said the NGO.

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