Government yet to compensate 70 families of raped minors
Three years ago, a 35-year-old woman had called the police after finding her 15-year-old daughter dead on the terrace. The investigation concluded that the victim’s father had allegedly raped and killed her. The wife and five children, meanwhile, were left penniless and still awaiting the compensation from the state government.
The woman now lives in a one-room rented in a resettlement colony with her five children.
“My in-laws would threaten and blame me for sending their son to jail,” said the 35-year-old woman whose identity HT cannot reveal. “I had to move to another accommodation. There were a few days when we slept hungry. Later, the police and a child rights panel (the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights) came to my rescue and arranged a vegetable kiosk for me to make a living. I haven’t been to school and had to learn some math, weights and measures to run the business.”
A year ago, deputy chief minister and Delhi finance minister Manish Sisodia’s office had written to the finance department directing them to “consider granting compensation (amount) to the woman as a relief on the death of her daughter.”
Despite phone calls and text message, the deputy chief minister Sisodia’s office did not respond.
According to the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR), there are 70 such families of minor rape victims in cases registered between 2015 and 2019 in Delhi who have not received compensation.
As per a Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights study released this July, which analysed 100 child rape cases in Delhi in 2017-18, only 15% of victims received compensation. According to the panel, the woman is entitled to appropriate compensation under the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) scheme that was notified in Delhi on June 27 this year and has been merged with the Delhi Victim Compensation Scheme of 2015.
Under the scheme a maximum compensation of up to ₹10 lakh could be granted for loss of life, which varies from case to case.
The child rights panel said that they had written twice to the state government and four times to Delhi State Legal Services Authority between April 2018 and July 2019 seeking an interim compensation of at least ₹2 lakh for the 35-year-old woman.
The most recent letter to the DSLSA was sent on July 22.
“We have been writing to the DSLSA and the government in this case to provide compensation to the family. There are 70 such cases for which we have been pursuing the authorities and letters are being sent. There are some cases in which the victims are not alive while others are awaiting rehabilitation,” said Jyoti Rathee, member, DCPCR.
The DSLSA has now asked the woman to file a fresh application in the matter.
“The case could be considered under NALSA scheme. We have asked the woman to file a fresh application this Monday after which we will be able to disburse an amount of around ₹2.5 lakh as interim compensation, as the case is still on trial, to the family within a week,” said Kanwal Jeet Arora, member secretary, DSLSA.
“At present I do not make enough to take proper care of my children,” the woman said.
But for there is no looking back.
“I don’t know when my ordeal will get over but I don’t want my husband to return ever, as he may kill even my other girls. I just want my children to study. I hope to get a house of my own and save for my children’s future if I do get the compensation amount,” she said.
There are 70 such cases for which we have been pursuing the authorities. In some cases the victims are not alive, while others are awaiting rehabilitation.