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Chandigarh: Rs 15-lakh relief to 10-year-old rape survivor

The compensation amount was awarded as a part of the Victim Assistance Scheme 2012.

punjab Updated: Dec 08, 2017 16:16 IST
Aneesha Bedi
Aneesha Bedi
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Chandigarh rape,10 year old rape victim Chandigarh,Victim Assistance Scheme 2012
Rs 15 lakh is arguably the highest compensation to a rape victim in the country under the said scheme(Representative image)

The district legal services authority (DLSA), Chandigarh, on Thursday, awarded Rs 15-lakh compensation to the 10-year-old victim who was raped by her two maternal uncles and impregnated by one of them. The compensation amount was awarded as part of the Victim Assistance Scheme 2012.

While Rs 10 lakh had already been formally awarded to the victim earlier after the intervention of the Supreme Court, the recent addition of Rs 5 lakh was announced after the DLSA completed its enquiry.

To break it down further, the victim’s family has received Rs 1 lakh in hand, while the remaining Rs 9 lakh is part of an FD (fixed deposit), which wasn’t released.

The amount of another Rs 5 lakh was ordered by Amarinder Sharma, secretary-cum-chief judicial magistrate, UT DLSA, post which the state legal services authority member secretary Mahavir Singh will ensure the disbursal of the money to the family.

Although the detailed judgment was not out till the filing of this report, it is learnt that Rs 15 lakh is arguably the highest compensation to a rape victim in the country under the said scheme. Earlier, the UT DLSA had awarded Rs 10 lakh to minor rape victims.

DLSA confirmed the development and said the compensation has been given keeping in mind the sensitivity of the case, wherein a child had to give birth to another child, among other peculiarities of the case.

Delay in process

Given that the uncles were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment on November 2 after a fast-track trial in this case since it was being constantly monitored by the Supreme Court, the compensation amount was awarded only a month and half later.

HT learnt that the DLSA received the detailed order from the court of additional district and sessions judge who pronounced the quantum only on November 29. After this, an enquiry was carried out to verify the financial and social background and the victim by parents, police authority and tehsildars, and then the compensation amount was finally decided on Thursday.

Under the Victim Assistance Scheme, the Chandigarh administration provides funds as assistance to the victim or his/her dependents, who have suffered loss or injury or both and require rehabilitation as a result of the crime. This scheme is funded from the Consolidated Fund of India.

The ordeal

It was on July 14 that doctors found the girl to be 30-week pregnant when her mother took her to hospital after she complained of a stomach ache. A local court dismissed the girl’s abortion plea, a decision upheld by the Supreme Court, as the doctors said the procedure would be too risky.

On the girl’s complaint, police arrested her mother’s cousin, who was a guard at a local hotel, for rape. But the case turned on its head when the DNA samples of the girl’s child — who took birth on August 17 — didn’t match with those of the uncle, as first reported by Hindustan Times on September 11.

Seventeen days later, police arrested the man’s younger brother, who turned out to be the main accused.

The girl told police that she was first raped by the younger uncle, a cook with the same hotel as his brother, around Christmas in 2016. The older uncle, too, assaulted her repeatedly from April till early July, she said. Initially, the girl didn’t name the younger uncle, fearing he would come good on his threat of killing her parents.

First Published: Dec 08, 2017 16:16 IST