The Delhi high court berated the Delhi government and the Centre for the delay in putting in place a concrete scheme for providing compensation to rape victims despite an assurance in July last year.
A bench of chief justice Dipak Misra and justice Sanjiv Khanna said it wanted to see the policy in place before July 6 and made it clear that no further time will be given.
"This court hopes and trusts that no further adjournments will be sought and the respective governments will be impressed upon to act in quite promptitude as a direction was issued to frame a scheme for compensation long back," the bench told the additional solicitor general of India, AS Chandhiok and Delhi government counsel Pawan Sharma.
"The matter has to be taken up in all seriousness as a case of this nature requires attention for the purpose of enabling the rape victims to be rehabilitated both socially as well as mentally because the anguish, agony and trauma suffered by a rape victim is absolutely immeasurable," said the bench.
The court made these remarks after lawyer Aparna Bhat for petitioner Delhi Commission for Women complained that the Centre was not serious about finalising a scheme, as nothing had happened even after more than 10 hearings in the matter.
Sharma sought to put the blame on the Centre, saying that the guidelines relating to grant of compensation are pending for consideration before the central government and it could be implemented in Delhi only after rules were framed.
According to sources, the scheme mooted by the ministry of women and child development has been cleared by the expenditure finance committee and awaits a nod by the finance ministry.
The proposal entails creation of a corpus of Rs 150 crore.
Under the scheme, victims will receive interim financial assistance of Rs 20,000 and restorative support services up to Rs 50,000.
The final assistance can be up to a maximum of Rs 1.30 lakh. While the relief amount can be availed by an affected woman, a minor girl or legal heirs of an affected woman, the aid can be as high as Rs 3 lakh in case of special circumstances.