SC orders WB to pay rape survivor Rs 5 lakh

SC orders WB to pay rape survivor Rs 5 lakh

The Supreme Court on Friday ordered the West Bengal government to pay Rs 5 lakh compensation to a 20-year-old gang-rape survivor for her rehabilitation, holding that it had failed to prevent the incident which took place at the instance of a village council.

The court’s conclusion could become a major embarrassment to the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government on the eve of the Lok Sabha elections.

A three-judge bench, presided over by Chief Justice P Sathasivam, also said crime against women could be checked by enacting larger societal change, creating awareness among people and imparting proper education.

Rueing that women still face discrimination in contemporary society, the court also asked the government to formulate and implement policies in order to uplift the socio-economic condition of women, and sensitise the police and other concerned parties to gender equality. The bench disposed of the suo motu petition and asked the state government to pay Rs 5 lakh to the woman within one month, in addition to the Rs 50,000 already paid to her.

The gang-rape was allegedly ordered by a village head at a kangaroo court in Labhpur, about 200 km from Kolkata, on January 21, as the girl's punishment for falling in love with a man from a different religion.

The court directed the police to ensure adequate protection to the victim.