If the Maharashtra State Commission for Women has its way, rape and domestic violence victims will receive compensations from the government.
The commission has written to the state, recommending the introduction of a scheme for relief and rehabilitation of victims of such crimes.
Under the scheme, victims of rape, domestic violence, dowry deaths, molestation or kidnapping will receive between Rs 20,000 and Rs 2 lakh, depending on the cases.
“The idea is to give victims and their families financial support and help them return to their normal lives,” said Rajanitai Satav, chairperson of the commission.
The commission recommends, if a non-earning rape victim dies, her family would get Rs 1 lakh. In case of death of an earning member, the compensation would be Rs 2 lakh.
If the victim is alive, the commission recommends that an interim relief of Rs 20,000 for the victim after which rehabilitation and other expenses up to Rs 50,000.
In cases where the accused is a government employee, the onus of compensating the woman will fall on that government department.
Sandhya Gokhale from the Forum Against Oppression of Women said a policy on compensating victims was “very much required”.
“The Supreme Court in 1997 had asked for a policy to be drafted regarding not just compensation but also legal and psychological counselling and rehabilitation,” said Gokhale. “But so far there has been no move by the government.”
She added that such policies should be prepared in consultation with women’s groups and victims.
The commission has suggested setting up of a Criminal Injuries Relief and Rehabili-tation Board in every district to implement the scheme.
Hindustan Times had reported in September 2006 that the commission had written to the state demanding that victims of atrocities be compensated irrespective of whether they belong to Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes.