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You value a rape at Rs 6,500? SC rebukes Madhya Pradesh over ‘charity’

The state government has drawn the largest amount from the Nirbhaya Fund but it told the apex court in an affidavit that it is paying Rs 6,000 to a rape survivor on an average.

india Updated: Feb 15, 2018 22:59 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi, Hindustan Times
Madhya Pradesh,Supreme Court,rape victims
A file photo of Supreme Court of India.

Taking strong exception to paltry sums disbursed by the Madhya Pradesh government to rape survivors , the Supreme Court on Thursday asked the state government if it was “doing charity” by paying such insignificant amounts as compensation.

“According to your affidavit, on an average, you are paying Rs6,000 to a rape victim. Are you doing a charity? How can you do so. You value a rape at Rs6,500?” said a bench headed by Justice Madan Lokur.

According to the affidavit filed by Madhya Pradesh government, Rs1 crore has been spent by the state to compensate 1,951 rape survivors.

The Madhya Pradesh government has drawn the largest amount from the Nirbhaya Fund, set up by Centre in 2013 after the December 16, 2012 gang-rape and murder of a paramedic student in Delhi. The fund is aimed at supporting the initiatives of governments and the NGOs working for women’s safety.

Madhya Pradesh standing counsel in SC, Arjun Garg, in the case said, “We have filed an affidavit in the court , where we have given a figure of how many rape victims have been given compensation and the total amount spent by the state government. The per victim compensation is the court’s computation.”

The state’s additional director general of police (crime against women cell) Aruna Mohan Rao said financial assistance is given to the rape victims by the Legal Service Authority and the quantum of amount is decided by the district judge.

A bench of justices Madan Lokur and Deepak Gupta were hearing a bunch of petitions seeking compensation for rape victims and raising concerns of women safety after the 2012 Nirbhaya incident.

The court also expressed frustration with 24 states and Union Territories which had not filed affidavits giving details of the amount received by them under the Nirbhaya Fund, amount disbursed by them and the number of victims compensated.

The Haryana government also faced the wrath of the top court for not filing its affidavit giving details about the fund.

The court remarked, “It’s sad that a large number of state governments are not bothered about safety of women in their states.”

“In spite of all talk about gender justice and safety of women, we find that there are 24 states/UTs that have not even bothered to file an affidavit in terms of our previous order,” the bench said.

The court gave four weeks time to the state governments to filed their affidavits “if they are at all interested in looking after the welfare of women in their states/UTs.”

First Published: Feb 15, 2018 17:04 IST