In a bid to end the huge difference in the compensation offered by states and union territories to rape victims, the supreme court today directed them to formulate a uniform compensation scheme for the victims rape and sexual assault, especially physically handicapped victims. The compensation to rape victims varies from Rs. 20 thousand to Rs. 10 lakhs in different states.
The apex court said they should consider and formulate programmes for such victims in the light of the scheme framed in Goa which provides compensation of up to Rs 10 lakh.
“All the States and Union Territories shall make all endeavour to formulate a uniform scheme for providing victim compensation in respect of rape and sexual exploitation with the physically handicapped women as required under the law taking into consideration the scheme framed by the State of Goa for rape victim compensation,” a bench of justices M Y Eqbal and Arun Mishra said.
It said the authorities should look into Victim Compensation Scheme under Section 357-A of CrPC for providing compensation to the victim or dependents who have suffered loss as a result of such crime.
“It is clear that no uniform practice is being followed in providing compensation to the rape victim for the offence and for her rehabilitation. This practice of giving different amounts ranging from Rs 20,000 to Rs 10,00,000 as compensation for the offence of rape under section 357 A needs to be introspected by all the States and the Union Territories,” said the supreme court in a landmark ruling.
“Indisputably, no amount of money can restore the dignity and confidence that the accused took away from the victim. No amount of money can erase the trauma and grief the victim suffers. This aid can be crucial with aftermath of crime,” the bench said.
The apex court was hearing an appeal by a rape convict challenging a Chhattisgarh high court decision which had upheld the order of a trial court awarding him seven year jail for raping a 18-year-old blind and illiterate girl on the false promise of marriage.
(With inputs from PTI).