'Hostile' rape victim not entitled to compensation: HC

Photo for representation.

A rape victim is not entitled to compensation if he or she turns hostile during the course of prosecution of the accused, the Karnataka High Court has ruled, citing government rules.

The court dismissed a writ petition by a rape victim, who challenged the Karnataka State Legal Service Authority’s (KSLSA) decision to reject her claim to Rs 7 lakh compensation after she turned hostile in the case.

The petitioner said the crime took place on March 11, 2014, and the First Information Report (FIR) was lodged. Police had filed a charge sheet against the accused.

The father of the rape victim made a representation before the legal services authority for a grant of compensation under the victim compensation scheme. The KSLSA directed the state government to pay Rs 3 lakh compensation.

Meanwhile, the petitioner sought KSLSA to release compensation of Rs 7 lakh as per the revised scheme. During the pendency of the proceedings before the authority, in the criminal case instituted at the instance of the victim, the petitioner, as well as her father, were declared

Thereupon, the KSLSA set aside its previous order awarding compensation on the ground that the petitioner during the course of the investigation had turned hostile.

The victim approached the high court challenging the Authority’s order. A single bench comprising Justice Alok Aradhe dismissed the writ petition.

In its judgment, on September 16, the court observed that as per Clause 6(3) of Karnataka Victim Compensation Scheme 2007, the victim or claimant shall cooperate with police and prosecution during the investigation and trial of the case.

During the course of the trial, the petitioner as well as her father were declared hostile in this case. In other words, they violated the clause of the scheme and therefore, are not entitled to seek compensation, the court added.

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