The Centre has asked the states to ensure that all male child victims of sexual abuse get compensation under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (Pocso) Act.
In a letter to chief ministers, Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi asked them to include male child victims of sexual abuse in the Victim Compensation Scheme or Fund as mandated under the law.
“Male child, who is the most neglected victim of child sexual abuse, is being ignored for the award of compensation. Issue necessary directions to the departments concerned to take necessary steps for including male child victims of sexual abuse in the Victim Compensation Scheme/Fund,” she told the chief ministers.
The Union minister also noted that the interim compensation to child victims of sexual abuse was not awarded in some of the states "on time" though it was necessary for the victims of sexual abuse to meet their “immediate medical and other needs.”
The award of compensation to these victims is also required for their rehabilitation, she added.
The Pocso Act is gender neutral and it safeguards the interests of not only the girl child victims of sexual abuse but also the male child falling victim to such crime.
As per the data with the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), a total of 31 state governments have so far notified their Victim Compensation Scheme under the Pocso Rules, 2012.
“However, the disbursements of compensation to the victims have not been uniform or satisfactory. Compensation, including interim relief, should be given to the victims on time,” an official said.
As per Posco Rules, 2012, a special court may on its own or on an application filed by or on behalf of the child pass an order for interim compensation to meet the immediate needs of the child for relief or rehabilitation at any stage after registration of the FIR.
“Such interim compensation paid to the child shall be adjusted against the final compensation, if any,” the Pocso Rules provide.
Such a court may also recommend the award of compensation where the accused is convicted, or where the case ends in acquittal or discharge, or the accused is not traced or identified.
“The state government shall pay the compensation ordered by the Special Court within 30 days of receipt of such order,” the Pocso Rules.