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Supreme Court tells states to compensate rape victims

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday has announced the compensation of Rs 10 lakh given by all state governments and union territory administrations to formulate a “uniform scheme” for compensation to victims of rape and sexual exploitation.

Citing the example of Goa which is providing a maximum of Rs 10 lakh to rape victims. The apex court said states and union territories should consider and formulate programmes for rape and sexual exploitation victims.

A bench comprising Justice M.Y.Eqbal and Justice Arun Mishra in their judgmenty said. “All the states and union territories shall make all endeavour to formulate a uniform scheme for providing victim compensation in respect of rape/sexual exploitation with the physically handicapped women as required under the law.”

The bench said the authorities should look into Victim Compensation Scheme under Section 357-A of CrPC for providing compensation to the victim or dependents who have suffered loss as a result of such crime.

It said that different states and union territories had a lot of variations as Goa is paying Rs.10 lakh compensation, Himachal Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh a “paltry amount” of Rs.50,000 and Maharashtra none.

The bench said.“It is clear that no uniform practice is being followed in providing compensation to the rape victim for the offence and for her rehabilitation. This practice of giving different amounts ranging from Rs 20,000 to Rs 10,00,000 as compensation for the offence of rape under section 357 A needs to be introspected by all the States and the Union Territorie”.

The direction came by the case of a blind girl who was lured into sexual exploitation by the appellant Tekan alias Tekram of Nandini Kundini village in Chattisgarh, on the pretext of marrying her.

Justice Eqbal, Directed the Chhattisgarh government to provide the blind victim of sexual exploitation a sum of Rs.8,000 every month in her lifetime, speaking for the bench Justice Eqbal said. “It would not be possible for the victim to approach the National Commission for Women for relief and rehabilitation the victim, who has already suffered a lot since the day of the crime till now, needs a special rehabilitation scheme.”

It said. “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.”