The Delhi high court on Thursday issued a notice to the state government on a plea challenging the Delhi Victim Compensation Scheme for discriminating between male and female victims of rape while dispensing compensation.
A bench headed by Justice Sanjeev Khanna gave the government eight weeks to come up with a reply to the issue and posted the matter for further hearing on July 13.
The HC order came after a 13-year-old boy, who was sexually assaulted by three seniors behind his school two years ago, sought enhancement of compensation provided to him.
While, the three boys were later convicted of unnatural sexual offences, the plea contended that since the Delhi Victim Compensation Scheme classified the crime merely as “child abuse” and not rape, he was provided with just Rs 50,000 as compensation.
The petition, filed by the boy’s family through NGO iProBono, says the case is one among thousands in which the Scheme had “effectively discriminated” against male-child victims of sexual assault by not recognizing penetrative assault on them as “rape” and clubbing it as merely “child abuse”.
This “vague and arbitrary and irrational” classification, it said, “discriminates between male victims and female victims as females are entitled to a compensation of Rs 3 lakh under the head of rape whereas a male victim will only be entitled to Rs 50,000 under the head of child abuse.”
In a survey on child sexual abuses in 2007, the Indian government had found that around 57.3% of the victims were boys. Recently, Delhi-based Centre for Civil Society had found that of the 18% of adult men who claim to have been forced into sex, 16% claimed that the perpetrators were female.
However, the Indian law does not recognise rape of a man, for which the much-debated provision of unnatural sex of Section 377 IPC is the only legal recourse for those penetrated in a penile manner. For those who are assaulted in a non-penile manner, no recourse exists.