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Three-member panel to frame scheme to compensate rape survivors in Maharashtra

The committee will comprise two high court judges and the principal secretary of the women and child welfare department.

mumbai Updated: Oct 13, 2017 00:41 IST
Kanchan Chaudhari
Kanchan Chaudhari
Hindustan Times
Mumbai news,rape survivor,Maharashtra
(Picture for representation)

The Bombay high court on Thursday set up a three-member committee to frame a model victim compensation scheme in Maharashtra. The committee will comprise two high court judges, justice Mridula Bhatkar and justice Girish Kulkarni, and the principal secretary of the women and child welfare department.

The bench of chief justice Manjula Chellur and justice Nitin Jamdar has directed the committee to hear all stakeholders, including non-governmental bodies representing victims of heinous crimes like rape and acid attacks, and come out with a proper and comprehensive victim compensation scheme.

The court also rapped the government for modifying the 2013 scheme “without application of mind.”

“The modified scheme is worse than the earlier one,” said the bench. “The government wants the victims to survive on 200/300 rupees of interest every month,” the bench added, referring to the fact that the modified scheme seeks to keep 70% of the compensation amount in a fixed deposit, and allow the victims to withdraw only the interest.

The court was hearing a bunch of petitions – public interest litigations filed by NGO Forum Against Oppression of Women, highlighting the inordinate delay in implementing the scheme for compensating and rehabilitating rape survivors, as envisaged in the Apex Court’s decision of 1994, and a petition filed by acid attack victim, Aarti Thakur, seeking compensation of Rs30 lakh from the state government.

It also included a petition filed by a 14-year-old from Borivli complaining that though she was entitled to financial assistance, medical aid and counselling under Manodharya scheme, she had not got any assistance or help from the government.

First Published: Oct 13, 2017 00:41 IST