Life of any victim of crime remains marred physically and psychologically as a result of the trauma suffered. The State, being bound to protect the rights of all its citizens, is required to provide services, including monetary, to the victims of crimes, so as to mitigate their hardships.
Delhi Victim Compensation Scheme
Ministry of Home Affairs notified the Guidelines for Central Victims Compensation Fund Scheme so that the states can align their respective compensation schemes with it. Delhi Victim Compensation Scheme 2015 repealed the 2011 Victim Compensation Scheme, after iProbono’s intervention in Minor through Guardian Zareen v. State of NCT of Delhi, and now applies to victims as well as their dependent(s). It covers instances such as loss of life, gang rape, rape, unnatural sexual assault, disabilities caused by a crime, trafficking, physical abuse of minor, acid attacks, and others.
One can avail compensation under this scheme only if they have not received assistance under any other scheme with respect to the same crime. Victims can also avail other benefits such as free medical facilities, or other interim compensation (including monetary), if appropriate. It is stipulated that interim compensation shall not be more than Rs. 50,000/-, except in cases of extreme hardship.
An application seeking compensation can be filed by the victims / dependents / Station House Officer (SHO) of the area before the State Legal Services Authority, along with a copy of the FIR and other court-related documents. No claim shall be entertained if 3 years have elapsed since the offence, or conclusion of trial. Factors considered while awarding the compensation include gravity of offence, severity of injury, medical expenses, loss of educational opportunity / employment, relationship of the victim and offender, resultant pregnancy, STDs contracted, disability suffered, financial conditions, and others.
In case of a minor, 80% of the compensation is put in a fixed deposit by the State Legal Services Authority, to be withdrawn after minimum 3 years, and after turning 18. In cases of an acid attack, an order granting interim compensation is passed within 7 days, and Rs. 1,00,000/- is paid within 15 days of application.
The Schedule of Compensation under the 2015 Scheme is as under:
|Loss / Injury||Minimum||Maximum|
|Loss of life||3 Lakhs||10 Lakhs|
|Gang Rape||3 Lakhs||7 Lakhs|
|Rape||3 Lakhs||5 Lakhs|
|Unnatural Sexual Assault||2 Lakhs||5 Lakhs|
|Loss of limb / part of body resulting in 80% permanent disability or above||2 Lakhs||5 Lakhs|
|Loss of limb / part of body resulting in above 40% and below 80% permanent disability||1 Lakh||3 Lakhs|
|Loss of limb / part of body resulting in above 20% and below 80% permanent disability||50,000||2 Lakhs|
|Loss of limb / part of body resulting in below 20% permanent disability||20,000||1 Lakh|
|Victims of human trafficking / kidnapping||1 Lakh||3 Lakhs|
|Physical abuse of minor||2 Lakhs||5 Lakhs|
|Grievous injury||50,000||2 Lakhs|
|Loss of foetus resulting from assault||2 Lakhs||3 Lakhs|
|Victims of burning:||5 Lakhs|
|Acid attack:||3 Lakhs|
In the above mentioned case, iProbono sought enhancement of compensation awarded to the male child survivor of sexual abuse, who, at the age of 11, was brutally sexually assaulted by 4 juveniles. iProbono challenged constitutionality of the 2011 Scheme for discriminating between a male and a female survivor of sexual abuse, because the former was eligible only under the category victim of human trafficking / child abuse / kidnapping and got Rs. 50,000/-, whereas the latter under the category ‘Rape’ could get Rs. 3,00,000/- iProbono’s Intervention:
The Delhi High Court accepted that Section 357 (A) of Cr.P.C. covers cases under POCSO Act, and that Section 33 of the said Act provides no outer limit for the amount of compensation, which should be calculated as per the facts and circumstances of each case. The Court further stated that the 2011 Scheme has wrongly been relied upon. Thus, observing the victim’s family’s struggles, compensation was enhanced to Rs. 3,00,000/-. This decision provides valuable guidance to POCSO Courts regarding compensation, and the need to provide constructive rehabilitation for minor victims.
 W.P.(CRL) 798/2015
Iti Pandey – Program Analyst, India, iProbono