Victim compensation schemes remain on paper
More than three years after the central government implemented a new legal provision providing for compensation to victims of crimes, the initiative has largely remained on paper in Maharashtra.mumbai Updated: Feb 22, 2013 01:34 IST
More than three years after the central government implemented a new legal provision providing for compensation to victims of crimes, the initiative has largely remained on paper in Maharashtra. According to an affidavit filed in the Bombay high court on Wednesday, a draft scheme has been prepared by the home department, but it is still under scrutiny by the government.
Several amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) were cleared by the Parliament in December 2008, which included the addition of section 357 (A), which provided for the creation of the Victim Compensation Fund. The amendments received the assent of the President, but were notified for implementation only in December 2009, and became enforceable from January 1, 2010. Despite this, victims of crimes in Maharashtra are waiting for these projects to take off.
A PIL filed by the NGO Help Mumbai Foundation led to the affidavit by Suresh Sonawane, deputy secretary, home department that revealed a draft scheme formulated by the department was still under consideration. This apparent lack of urgency shown by the government was strongly criticised by activist and lawyer Manisha Tulpule.
Tulpule said a seven-year-old girl from the Govandi slums, who was raped by a shopkeeper, is still waiting for the compensation awarded to her by the Mumbai sessions court from the Victim Compensation Fund.
Another scheme floated by the Maharashtra women and child development department, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund, has also not been created yet, Tulpule said. Boards were set up by the department to provide medical treatment, legal aid and compensation to rape victims, but the boards are now defunct, Tulpule said.