Following the finance ministry’s acquiescence, a Centrally-sponsored scheme, not a fund, will be launched in two months time to monetarily compensate victims of rape, a government source told HT.
The Centre will finance the scheme for the first year, but for subsequent years it will operate on a shared basis with the states, the source added.
“We have been pursuing this scheme for restorative justice and would like it to be launched at the earliest as now only creation of certain structures at the state and district levels is left. This scheme has been formalised after wide consultations,” women and child development minister Krishna Tirath said.
Based on the principles of restorative justice, the proposed scheme seeks to provide the rape victim a helping hand to help cope with the trauma and to tide over immediate and long-term needs.
Money-wise, the immediate and interim amount to be offered would be R70,000, while R1,30,000 would be offered for victim’s long-term needs.
The scheme also envisages setting up of criminal injuries relief and rehabilitation boards at the district, state and central levels for consideration of claims and ensuring effective coordination.In certain cases, where victim is a minor or physically challenged, the rehabilitation boards will have the jurisdiction to increase the compensation amount to Rs 3 lakh.
The proposal had run into a hitch after the Planning Commission suggested that it should be financed from a fund and not operated in the form of a Centrally-sponsored scheme.
The formulation of the scheme was initiated by the National Commission for Women in 1995 following a SC directive.