SC for uniform policy to compensate rape victims

SC for uniform policy to compensate rape victims

The Supreme Court on Thursday directed all the states and Union territories to formulate a uniform scheme for providing compensation to the victims of rape and sexual exploitation specially with the differently-abled women.

Dealing with a case of a blind woman, who was sexually exploited by a man on the promise of marriage, making her pregnant, a bench of Justices M Y Eqbal and Arun Mishra noted that no uniform policy was being followed for compensation and rehabilitation of the victims.

The court ordered all state governments to consider the scheme framed by Goa which fixed Rs 10 lakh as compensation.

After examining the Victim Compensation Scheme framed and the amount payable to the rape victims by the respective state governments and Union territories under Section 357A of the Criminal Procedure Code 1973, the court noted that Odisha fixed it as Rs 20,000 while Goa made provision for payment of Rs 10 lakh as compensation.

 Karnataka fixed the amount as Rs 3 lakh for rape of minor and Rs 1.5 lakh for other victims.
“This practice of giving different amount ranging from Rs 20,000 to Rs 10 lakh as compensation for the offence of rape under section 357A of the CrPC needs to be introspected by all the states and the Union territories,” the bench said.

The court also went through a scheme formulated by the National Commission of Women in 2010 to wipe out tears of the unfortunate rape victims particularly physically-challenged in which Rs 3 lakh can be paid to the victims.

In the instant case, the court directed the Chhattisgarh government to pay Rs 8,000 per month to the victim, a below poverty line card holder, who was left to survive on disability pension of Rs 300 only. The victim, now 37-year-old, suffered for 19 years since the incident, as she was living all her own in a village in Durg district. Her brothers and other family members had to migrate to other places to work as daily-wagers.

“Indisputably, no amount of money can restore the dignity and confidence that the accused took away from the victim. No amount of money can erase the trauma and grief the victim suffers. This aid can be crucial with aftermath of crime,” the bench said.

The court dismissed the appeal of Tekan alias Tekram, and upheld his conviction and seven year jail term, awarded by the trial court and confirmed by the high court.
DH News Service

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