A child born out of rape is entitled to compensation, independent of any such relief granted to the mother, the Delhi high court has observed in a case.
“A child born out of rape, either of a minor or a woman who is an adult, is clearly a victim of the act of the offender and entitled to compensation independent of the amount of compensation paid to his/her mother,” a bench of Justices Gita Mittal and R K Gauba said on Tuesday.
The high court noted that until now there was no such provision under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act or under the Delhi government’s victim compensation scheme.
It also observed that no victim compensation fund has been set up under the 2011 scheme despite directions in this regard by the high court in a PIL.
This ‘vacuum’ in the law came to the court’s attention when it was hearing the appeal of a man convicted and awarded life term for raping his minor step-daughter who, as a result of the crime, gave birth at the tender age of 14 years.
Noting the “sordid scenario” in the instant case, where “the trust and confidence reposed in the man by his wife and step-daughter, was abused by him to bring about, out of sheer lust, untold miseries on the body, mind and psyche of the prosecutrix child leaving scars which would not ever heal”, the court upheld his conviction and sentence.
It also clarified that the man shall remain behind bars for the remainder of his natural life, saying “we see no scope for any ruth (pity) in the matter of punishment”.
The high court also reiterated its earlier direction to all trial courts not to disclose the identity of minor victims in POCSO cases.