Jharkhand jails track down victims to compensate for decades-old crimes
The money comes from a new drive by jail administration in the state to give monetary grants to crime victims and the kin of people killed from the wages earned by convicts.ranchi Updated: Jun 24, 2016 22:45 IST
Three decades ago, Parbatiya Devi’s husband was killed by five people in Chatra district, leaving her in penury and struggling for a livelihood.
But the 75-year-old was pleasantly surprised a few months ago when the government gave her a cheque of Rs 1.3 lakh under the Jharkhand Victim Welfare Fund.
The money came from a new drive by jail administration in the state to give monetary grants to crime victims and the kin of people killed from the wages earned by convicts.
Parbatiya Devi will continue to receive money as long as the five people convicted of murdering her husband are lodged in the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan central jail in Hazaribagh.
The jail administration is in the process of tracking down victims and their family members, many of whom are poor and live in remote villages. Authorities have already paid Rs 39.37 lakh to 181 victims.
A total of 43 victims got Rs 11,36,921 from convict’s wages in Loknayak Jaiprakash Narayan central jail, Hazaribagh, 49 received Rs 9, 68,380 from Birsa Munda Central Jail Hotwar, 51 got Rs 8, 46,077 from Central jail Dumka, 20 received Rs 7, 13,343, from Central jail Medininagar Palamau and 19 got Rs 2, 72,289 from wages of convicts of central jail Ghaghidih.
The maximum amount for payment made to victim is Lakhpatia Kunwar, who got Rs 1.5 lakh. The first payment of Rs 21,893 was made to six victims from the wages of five convicts in Lok Narayan Jai Prakash Narayan Central jail.
All victims of convicted persons will be traced and provided compensation in the year 2016-17, officials said.
The government had formed the Jharkhand Victim Welfare Fund Rules in 2014 but couldn’t implement it for a long period, leading to an accumulation of more than Rs 5 crore to be distributed among the victims.
“The fund was there but it was not being utilized as identification was delayed for many reasons. The IG prison took the initiative for payment of the money,” said additional director general of police BB Pradhan.
He said all prisoners sentenced to rigorous imprisonment and those sentenced to simple imprisonment but volunteer to labour in jail are entitled to wages.
Two-third of the wage is given to the prisoner and one-third is deducted for the victim welfare fund. The money is given to the deserving victim.
A committed chaired by the deputy commissioner administers the payment. The convict are now earning for the victims inside the jail.
“The administration is giving grants to persons who suffered loss or injury as a result of crime and requires rehabilitation. It includes the dependent family members also,” inspector general Suman Gupta said.
“In case the victim has died the fund is being given to legal heir of the victim. The victims or heir would continue to get the money as long as the prisoners earn in the jail.”