Prez gives nod for Rs 30K cr fund for rape victims

The ambitious bill, moved by BJP MP and former Uttarakhand chief minister Ramesh Pokharial Nishank in 2017, has got the nod from President Ram Nath Kovind for consideration in Parliament. PTI file photo

A bill that seeks to establish a 'National Abused and Attacked Girls and Women Rehabilitation and Welfare Fund' for victims of acid attack, rape and trafficking with an initial corpus of Rs 30,000 crore, will come for consideration and passage before Parliament in Monsoon Session that begins from July 18.

The ambitious bill, moved by BJP MP and former Uttarakhand chief minister Ramesh Pokharial Nishank in 2017, has got the nod from President Ram Nath Kovind for consideration in Parliament.

Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir informed the secretary general of Lok Sabha this week regarding the presidential nod under article 117(3) of the Constitution for consideration of the "The Victims of Acid Attack, Sexually Abused and Trafficked Girls and Women (Compensation and Rehabilitation) Bill 2017" moved by Nishank.

The said article stipulates that a bill which, if enacted and brought into operation, would involve expenditure from the consolidated fund of India shall not be passed by either House of Parliament unless the President has recommended to that House its consideration.

Besides the establishment of the rehabilitation and welfare fund, the bill also seeks setting up of stop-crisis centres at conspicuous places in different parts of the country for extending necessary help and facilities to girls and women covered under this act, by the police and other agencies.

If enacted the law will provide ex-gratia payment of not less than Rs 5 lakh to every victim of acid attack or rape covered under this Act.

After the initial corpus for Fund, both the central and the state governments have to contribute to it. The Fund will also have to receive from the corporate and domestic as well as international financial institutions. The fund can be used for setting up shelter homes with adequate facilities.

In the statement of objects and reasons of the bill, Nishank referred to the 2013 Nirbhaya gangrape and murder and noted that despite the law to check such crimes made more deterrent in the aftermath, hardly any day goes without reports of rapes and gang rapes being committed in the national capital and rest of the country.

 "Off late, it is a matter of serious concern that crimes against girls and women have increased manifold in our country, particularly the cases of rapes and gang rapes and acid attacks on the girls and women," the bill says. 

On cases of acid throwing on women, the bill says the acid attack survivors have to undergo many surgeries, bandages and medication, the costs of which most victims are unable to bear and they are left to fend for themselves.

"For these hapless acid attack victims, financial assistance, free medication and cosmetic surgeries and rehabilitation become all the more necessary," the bill notes.

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Prez gives nod for Rs 30K cr fund for rape victims

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