Rapes in India: Compensation and help for survivors
This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.
Compensation for rape victims
‘Compensate rape victims’ / Supreme Court
TIMES NEWS NETWORK 25/04/2013
Victims of sexual assault need a completely different treatment than what is meted out to them by society and state authorities, the Supreme Court has said and ordered all states to implement its 18-year-old directive.
The 1995 judgment of the apex court had directed setting up of Criminal Injuries Compensation Board and said it could take up the task of determining the amount to be paid by the offender to rape victims who incur huge financial loss apart from carrying the unwarranted stigma.
“The board shall take into account the pain, suffering and shock as well as loss of earnings due to pregnancy and the expenses of child birth if this occurred as a result of rape,” the court has said in Delhi Domestic Working Women’s Forum case.
Reiterating the guidelines, a bench of Justices B S Chauhan and F M I Kaliffulla said, “Undoubtedly any direction issued by this court is binding on all the courts and all civil authorities within the territory of India.” While dealing with a rape case from Madhya Pradesh, the bench accepted arguments of Vibha Datta Makhija and upheld the HC’s decision to reverse the acquittal of one Dilip who was accused of rape.
The lack of sensitivity shown towards the rape victim by the prosecution and the trial court anguished the bench and said that the 18-year-old directive asking the prosecution and states and Justices Chauhan and Kalifulla decided to add more norms to the guidelines.
Compensate rape victims in 2 months, Bombay HC tells state govt
Rosy Sequeira, TNN | Jul 26, 2013
MUMBAI: The Bombay high court granted a state government request for two months to implement a scheme to compensate rape and sexual assault victims but reminded it that such incidents were increasing. The HC said the government "cannot take its own sweet time' and delay its implementation.
A division bench of Justices S C Dharmadhikari and S B Shukre heard a public interest litigation by the Forum Against Oppression of Women to direct the government to constitute a victim compensation fund mandated by the Supreme Court to states in 1995. The principal secretary (women & child development) appeared in court after the judges, at a previous hearing, were miffed when told there were no funds to rehabilitate victims.
Assistant public prosecutor Prajakta Shinde sought time as the proposal was pending before the home department since July 16. "At this rate, you will want months together. How long should anybody wait?' said Dharmadhikari. "Does the cabinet not meet during the assembly session? Is it not possible for the cabinet to take advantage of placing it before the assembly? For such ameliorative measures, who is going to say no?' he said.
The judges expressed "surprise' that even after "an officer as high as the chief secretary" held a meeting, the process to obtain comments and approval of other departments was initiated.
"The chief secretary, after convening a meeting, does not get departmental approval? You must impress upon people who are part of the welfare state. Such incidents are increasing. You cannot take you own sweet time,' Justice Dharmadhikari said.
Shinde sought two months to implement the scheme. "It will be taken up on priority,' she said. The petitioner's advocate, Vijay Hiremath, said accounts had been opened in May but after that no action was taken. Dharmadhkari riposted, "If there is a scheme in place, let it start. We must not start the process of finding fault. As citizens we must show concern for victims." The judges said the state must show a "sense of urgency in formulating and implementing schemes to offer solace to victims".
They said that at least now the state must show concern and respond to the needs of victims so that they have support in their battle for justice. They said the scheme was expected to be in place by the next hearing in eight weeks and added that there will be no extension.
Air fare, lodging etc. expenses to be reimbursed
Survivors of all sexual offences seeking justice in Delhi courts but based abroad or in far-flung places can hope for some relief.
Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) has decided to provide air fare to such victims to facilitate their timely presence for trial.
Justice Indira Banerjee of Delhi high court, who is the executive chairman of DSLSA, earlier this week, approved the proposal to ensure survivors of such crimes can get air fare and other reasonable expenses, like lodging, reimbursed.
The authority plans to meet or bear these expenses out of Victim Compensation Fund or Legal Aid Fund, in case the trial court, hearing the matter, doesn't order the release of funds.
DSLSA decided to move on this front after it received a US citizen's request. The wo man was allegedly raped in December last year and lodged an FIR with Connaught Place police station.
After filing her complaint, she had returned to the US but has to now visit Delhi for trial and related proceedings.
In agreeing to her request, the Legal Services Authority relied upon a Delhi government notification of 2015 relating to payment of expenses to complainants and witnesses, who have to appear in court for inquiry or trial. But the notification doesn't allow air travel refund even as it leaves it to the judge to use his discretion in cases where witnesses have to come from distant places.
Examining the US citizen's case, DSLSA found that the woman needed to attend the court to record her statement and the only way for her, was to travel to India by air. “Similarly there may arise situation where the victim or survivor is an Indian national belonging to far flung states and is required to join the inquiry , investigation, judicial proceedings or trial in Delhi at a short notice. In such cases, it would be just and fair to allow the witnessvictim or survivor to travel to Delhi by air,“ the authority noted.
Speaking to TOI, member secretary Dharmesh Sharma confirmed the development and said it will go a long way in ensuring women doesn't face “re-victimisation“ when appearing in court.
DSLSA also wants the trial courts to direct the Resident Commissioner of the concerned states to facilitate the boarding and lodging of witnesscomplainant or survior in respective State Bhawan's and said the bill would either be paid by the authority or reimbursed at a later stage by the trial court.
2018: Rape, acid attack compensation fixed
Will Be Uniform Across States; SC Says There Should Be No Cap
Coming to the aid of poor women who face financial hardship after dehumanising sexual assault or a severe trauma like an acid attack, the National Legal Services Authority (Nalsa) in consultation with the Centre has drawn up a relief policy offering minimum amount of Rs 5 lakh and Rs 7 lakh, respectively.
Nalsa’s comprehensive scheme sets out the minimum amount as relief for gang rape and rape cases. The “compensation scheme for women victims/survivors of sexual assault/other crimes” has been prepared on an order of the apex court that sought ‘model rules’ to provide succour to women victims and family members, particularly the poor and residents of rural areas lacking resources to fight legal battles.
As per the scheme, a minimum Rs 5 lakh is to be paid in case of loss of life or gang rape of a victim and maximum has been fixed at Rs 10 lakh. A minimum Rs 4 lakh is to be paid in case of rape or unnatural sexual assault. For the loss of any limb or part of the body resulting in 80% of permanent disability, Rs 2 lakh is to be given and Rs 2 lakh in case of grievous physical injury. The scheme is binding on all states.
For loss of fetus or miscarriage, minimum compensation is Rs 2 lakh. Interestingly, the scheme says that if a woman victim is covered under more categories of the schedule, she shall be entitled for the total value of compensation. If a gang rape survivor dies, her family members would be entitled for a minimum Rs 10 lakh — Rs 5 lakh for loss of life and Rs 5 lakh for the gang rape offence.
At present, different state governments grant varying amounts to rape survivors ranging from minimum Rs 10,000 in Odisha to Rs 10 lakh in Goa. Maharashtra is the only state which has not framed rules. As the amount of compensation varies across states, a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta on Thursday approved the scheme in principle.
“Victims in different states cannot be compensated differently. It makes no difference where the victim has been raped. Compensation must be the same across the country,” the bench said. It also said maximum compensation would not be capped and the state would be at liberty to pay more to victims beyond the maximum amount fixed.
In case of victims of burning and acid attacks, the minimum compensation will be Rs 7 lakh for total disfigurement and Rs 5 lakh in case of 50% burns. It says Rs 1 lakh shall be paid within 15 days to an acid attack victim and thereafter Rs 2 lakh within two months.
The compensation granted to a minor victim will be 50% higher than the above fixed amount. Simplifying the process to get compensation, a victim of her family member can approach with a copy of FIR and medical report to state or district legal services authority which would immediately release a sum of Rs 5,000 to her.
2018: Rape compensation standardised
Minimum Payout Of ₹5 Lakh For Gang Rape Or Loss Of Life
In an order applicable nationally, the Supreme Court has ruled that a rape survivor will get a mandatory minimum compensation of Rs 4 lakh and, in case of gang rape Rs 5 lakh, and directed states to implement this from October 2 in accordance with a scheme framed by the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) in consultation with the Centre.
At present, different state governments grant varying amounts of compensation to rape survivors, ranging from Rs 10,000 in Odisha to Rs 10 lakh in Goa. Some states have not framed any rule. The lack of a uniform scheme for compensation meant many rape survivors fail to get compensation and this led to the apex court’s intervention and a scheme that seeks to ameliorate the mental and physical hurt.
The monetary relief granted under the “compensation scheme for women victims/survivors of sexual assault and other crimes 2018” is not linked with trial proceedings in such cases and the survivor can approach the state or district legal services authority for compensation immediately after registration of FIR. The scheme empowers legal services authority to take suo motu cognisance of cases of sexual assault and acid attack to grant interim relief to survivors.
As the Centre has not framed rules for compensation of minor rape survivors under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur, S Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta said the NALSA scheme will be applicable in these cases till norms are framed.
As per the scheme, a minimum Rs 5 lakh is to be paid in case of loss of life or gang rape and maximum has been fixed at Rs 10 lakh. A minimum of Rs 4 lakh is to be paid in case of rape or unnatural sexual assault. In case of victims of burning and acid attacks, minimum compensation will be Rs 7 lakh for total disfigurement and Rs 5 lakh in case of 50% burns. It says Rs 1 lakh shall be paid within 15 days to an acid attack victim and thereafter Rs 2 lakh within two months.
“As soon as the application for compensation is received by the SLSA/DLSA, a sum of Rs 5,000 or, as the case warrants, up to Rs 10,000 shall be immediately disbursed to the victim by the secretary of DLSA or member secretary of SLSA,” the scheme said. Interestingly, the scheme says if a woman survivor is subject to more than one crime, she will be entitled for a combined value of compensation. It means when a gang rape victim dies her family members will be entitled to a minimum Rs 10 lakh — Rs 5 lakh for loss of life and Rs 5 lakh for gang rape.
In case a trial or appellate court finds that the criminal complaint and allegations were false, the LSA will initiate proceedings for recovery of compensation, if any, granted in part or full. The SC directed the Centre to give the scheme wide publicity on all media platforms to create awareness about the social welfare scheme and pave way for victims to claim the right to compensation. A compensation fund will be set up and it will be managed by State Legal Services Authority. It also envisages setting up a portal for online applications.
2018: ₹90L compensation for kidnapping, rape
In the abduction and rape case of a minor girl from Faridkot in 2012, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday directed the convict Nishan Singh and his mother Navjot Kaur to pay Rs 90 lakh compensation to the survivor and her parents. It is perhaps for the first time that the high court has ordered such a huge compensation in a rape case.
Both Nishan and his mother, along with eight of their accomplices, were convicted in the rape-and-kidnapping case in 2013 by the sessions court. The division bench of Justice AB Chaudhari and Justice Inderjeet Singh issued the order on the plea of the survivor’s parents for compensation.
The bench directed the Faridkot district collector to attach the properties of Nishan and his mother to ensure payment of compensation “within 10 weeks”.
The Rs 90 lakh fine, the bench ruled, will be divided between the survivor and her parents — Rs 50 lakh for the survivor and Rs 20 lakh each for her mother and father.
“We are aghast to see how a middle-class family of the complainant with two daughters was torn into due to rich rural and urban landholder Nishan Singh’s and his mother’s rowdy and cruel conduct… The pregnancy was required to be terminated and this fact became known to all in the city of Faridkot and also to the community of the victim’s father. Thus, the victim was completely ravaged because of the repeated beastly acts...,” observed the bench.
Court asks Faridkot district collector to attach properties of the accused and his mother to ensure payment of compensation within 10 weeks in the 2012 rape case of a minor girl in Punjab
Children born out of rape
Child born out of rape entitled to relief as well: HC
A child born out of rape is entitled to compensation, independent of any such relief granted to the mother, the Delhi high court has ruled. The verdict to this effect, in which a man has been sent to jail for his entire “natural life“ for raping his minor step-daughter, was delivered after the court noted that there was no such provision under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act or under the Delhi government's victim compensation scheme.
A bench of Justice Gita Mittal and R K Justice Gauba said a child born out of rape, either of a minor or a woman who is an adult, “is clearly a victim of the act of the offender and entitled to compensation independent of the amount of compensation paid to hisher mother“.
This “vacuum“ in the law came to the court's attention when it was hearing the appeal of a man convicted for raping his minor step-daughter.
Delhi Victims Compensation Scheme
Post-Nirbhaya scheme not paying off
Sana Shakil New Delhi:
The Times of India Jul 01 2014
Only 483 Of 3,000 Cases Referred For Relief In 2 Years; Fund Disbursal Slow
More than two years after the Delhi Victims Compensation Scheme was put in place for providing timely financial assistance to survivors of sexual abuse and other cases of assault, the scheme has not been able to serve the purpose. The authorities are taking several months and, in some cases, even years to give interim compensation when ideally the amount should be disbursed in a month or two.
Out of more than 3,000 assault cases registered from April 2012 to April this year, police informed Delhi State Legal Services Authority only in 483 cases. This is a sorry situation as DSLSA cannot award compensation till the case is recommended by police. Thereafter, DSLSA conducts an inquiry to decide if the case is fit for compensation before offering monetary relief. Of the total cases referred to it, DSLSA awarded compensation in 304 cases. Statistics indicate that the cops are not the only ones at fault as quite often, the survivors are deprived of timely interim relief as the files get stuck with the divisional commissioner, who is responsible for disbursing funds. The Delhi government official tends to be overloaded and release of funds is not given priority . Of the 304 cases, the divisional commissioner had given out money in only 75 cases during the two years. The government has spent only Rs 2,06,02,000 of the Rs 15 crore allotted since the launch of this scheme in February 2012. In compliance with Article 357A of the CrPC, the Delhi government had notified the scheme for compensating survivors or their dependants who suffered loss or injury as a result of sexual crimes and other offences.
Sources say lack of awareness among the police, lawyers and victims about their right to be compensated under the scheme is a major reason for the inefficient implementa tion. Involvement of multiple agencies--the cops, DSLSA and divisional commissioners --leads to back and forth as no one takes responsibility. What is striking is that this long-drawn-out procedure is in contravention of guidelines by the Supreme Court and the Delhi high court, which have time and again insisted on immediate help, preferably within two months. In March, HC had made it clear that the divisional commissioner should not take more than two weeks to allot the sum. DSLSA had then informed the court that it was disposing of the matter within a month but on average, the government was taking four to six months.
NGOs helping in rehabilitation and senior DSLSA officials suggested a one-window facility to save time. Yogesh Kumar, programme coordinator at NGO Pratidhi, which is managing the government's crisis intervention centre in east Delhi, said that if DSLSA can take up cases suo motu, the scheme would be effective. “DSLSA had once suggested to the court that it can be made the funding authority for timely disbursal,“ said a DSLSA official.
The delay leaves girls like the 5-year-old, allegedly raped by an acquaintance in July last year, at the receiving end. Despite an order from DSLSA in April, she is yet to get any relief.
“I am a security guard and the sole breadwinner of my family , which includes my wife, Kusum, a son and my parents. I also need to pay for Kusum's treatment. It's been almost a year and I'm yet to get relief. I have been to the divisional commissioner's office thrice but have not got any clear answer,“ said the girl's father. Another survivior, a 13-year-old girl allegedly raped by her neighbour in March 2012, also doesn't know about the relief.
There are many more in dire need of timely help.
Rape survivors to get higher compensation
Sana Shakil New Delhi:
The Times of India Jul 01 2014
The city government and its various departments have finally approved the changes made to the Delhi Victims Compensation Scheme, 2011, aimed at speedy compensation for survivors of rape and other cases of assault. The suggestions, which included greater compensation for victims, were made after the Nirbhaya case but the files kept moving from one department to another.
The government had agreed to amend the scheme about two years ago but the departments of law, finance as well as woman and child development have given the clearance only now. “The no tification will be issued soon,“ said a senior official at Delhi State Legal Services Authority, which looks into the legal aspects of compensation.
Under the comprehensive compensation scheme, the amount has been enhanced for victims of rape, acid attacks, trafficking, child abuse and kidnapping. The maximum relief for rape victims has been increased from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 5 lakh. To rehabilitate survivors of sexual assault and other crimes, there will be sub-categories of gang rape and unnatural sexual assault. Earlier, gangrape survivors were not treated separately. Now, Rs 7 lakh has been fixed as the maximum compensation while Rs 3 lakh is the minimum relief.
Cases of unnatural sex ual assault will also be treated separately and will be considered for a compensa tion between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 5 lakh. In case of death, the maximum amount to be given as compensation has been increased from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh.
Relief for other injuries has also been increased by Rs 1 lakh-2 lakh. Survivors of acid attacks and burning will be compensated based on the nature of injuries. The amended scheme has also added a new provision for acid attack cases to ensure prompt assistance for treatment of burns and other injuries. The survivors will now receive Rs 1 lakh within 15 days of the matter being reported to the sanctioning authority, DSLSA, which has one week to award interim compensation.
SC: Hike aid to rape survivors
The Times of India, Feb 12 2016
Hike aid to rape survivors up to Rs 10L, SC to states
In a significant decision to provide succour to rape survivors, the Supreme Court asked states and Union territories to frame rules to grant compensation of up to Rs 10 lakh to women subjected to sexual exploitation. At present, different state governments grant varying amount as compensation to rape survivors ranging from maximum Rs 10,000 in Odisha to Rs 10 lakh in Goa. Maharashtra is the only state which has not framed rules for compensation as per Section 357A of the Cri minal Procedure Code.
A bench of Justices M Y Eqbal and Arun Mishra said the governments should also frame special rehabilitation packages for rape survivors who are minor or physically challenged to help them get over the trauma.
It said there must be a uniform scheme for relief and rehabilitation of rape survivors and directed the states to frame policies on the lines of Goa.
“After perusal of victim compensation schemes of different states and UTs, it is clear that no uniform practice is being followed in providing compensation to the rape victim for the offence and or her rehabilitation. This practice, of giving different amounts... as compensation, needs to be introspected by states and UTs. They should consider and formulate a uniform scheme specially for the rape victims in the light of the scheme framed in Goa,“ it said.
The court passed the direction while coming to rescue of a visually challenged rape survivor who was molested 20 years back and later deserted by her family members. Now the 37-year survivor lives alone in a village in Durg district of Chhattisgarh with no one to look after her and on a disability pension of just Rs 300 per month granted by the state. The court directed the state to pay Rs 8,000 per month to the survivor for the rest of her life.
Other articles about rapes in India
Rapes in India<> Rapes in India: court verdicts<> Rape definitions unique to India<> Rapes in India: the legal position after 2013 <>Rapes in India: Compensation and help for survivors <>Rapes in India: annual statistics