SC approves NALSA’s Women Victim Compensation Scheme, 2018.A victim of gangrape in any part of the country could now get a minimum compensation of Rs five lakh up to a maximum of Rs 10 lakh.
It opens a new era by bringing uniformity in Victim Compensation benefits available for Women in India.
SC approves NALSA Women VCS, 2018
In a historic decision Apex Court Bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Deepak Guptafinally approved the NALSA’s Compensation Scheme for women Victims/Survivors of Sexual Assault/other Crimes, 2018. It opens a new era by bringing uniformity in Victim Compensation benefits available for Women in India.
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 in different states, there was a dire need to bring uniformity in the same.
Hon’ble Supreme Court of India had in W.P. (C) No. 565/2012 titled Nipun Saxena Vs. Union of India observed that “it would be appropriate if NALSA sets up a Committee of about 4 or 5 persons who can prepare Model Rules for Victim Compensation for sexual offences and acid attacks taking into account the submissions made by the learned Amicus. The learned Amicus as well as the learned Solicitor General have offered to assist the Committee as and when required. The Chairperson or the nominee of the Chairperson of the National Commission for Women should be associated with the Committee.”
Thereafter NALSA constituted a High Powered Committee consisting of:
Ms. Pinky Anand, Additional Solicitor GeneralShri Rakesh Srivastava Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of IndiaShri T.V.S. N. Prasad Additional Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of IndiaMs. Indira Jaising, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of IndiaShri Alok Agarwal, Member Secretary, NALSAShri Surinder S. Rathi, Director, NALSAMs. Anju Rathi Rana, Joint Secretary, Department of Legal Affairs, Ministry of Law and Justice, Govt. of IndiaShri K.L. Sharma, Joint Secretary National Commission for WomenMs. Bharti Ali, Co-Director, HAQ: Centre for Child Rights
The Committee held rounds of meetings and it was decided to prepare a separate “Chapter” or a “Sub-Scheme” within the existing Victim Compensation Scheme for victims of sexual assault.
The Committee drafted the Victims Compensation Scheme and invited suggestions/comments from various stakeholders on the draft. Taking into consideration the suggestions/comments, the Committee has finalized theCompensation Scheme for women Victims/Survivors of Sexual Assault/other Crimes and submitted the same before the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India on 24/04/2018.
After hearing Ld. Amicus Curiae in the case Ms. Indira Jaising, Sr. Advocate and Sh. Surinder S Rathi, Director, NALSA the Apex Court adopted the Draft Scheme and directed Min. of Women and Child Devlopment, GOI to send a copy of the Scheme to States and UTs for adoption at their end.
Bench clarified that the Scheme signifies the minimum rate of Compensation States and UTs shall provide to Women Victims of Crime. However if the States and UTs wish to pay and provide more, they are free to do more.
Salient features of the NALSA’s Scheme-
WOMEN VICTIMS COMPENSATION FUND-
There shall be a Fund, namely, the Women Victims Compensation Fund from which the amount of compensation, as decided by the State Legal Services Authority or District Legal Services Authority, shall be paid to the women victim or her dependent(s) who have suffered loss or injury as a result of an offence and who require rehabilitation.
PROCEDURE TO AVAIL COMPENSATION-
Mandatory Reporting of FIRs: – SHO/SP/DCP shall mandatorily share soft/hard copy of FIR immediately after its registration with State Legal Services Authority/District Legal Services Authority qua commission of offences covered in this Scheme which include Sections 326A, 354A to 354D, 376A to 376E, 304B, 498A (in case of physical injury covered in this Schedule), so that the SLSA/DLSA can, in deserving cases, may suo-moto initiate preliminary verification of facts for the purpose of grant of interim compensation.
An application for the award of interim/ final compensation can be filed by the Victim and/or her Dependents or the SHO of the area before concerned SLSA or DLSA. It shall be submitted in Form ‘I’ along with a copy of the First Information Report (FIR) or criminal complaint of which cognizance is taken by the Court and if available Medical Report, Death Certificate, wherever applicable, copy of judgment/ recommendation of court if the trial is over.
FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED WHILE AWARDING COMPENSATION –
While deciding a matter, the State Legal Services Authority/District Legal Services Authority may take into consideration the following factors relating to the loss or injury suffered by the victim:
(1) Gravity of the offence and severity of mental or physical harm or injury suffered by the victim;
(2) Expenditure incurred or likely to be incurred on the medical treatment for physical and/or mental health including counselling of the victim, funeral, travelling during investigation/ inquiry/ trial (other than diet money);
(3) Loss of educational opportunity as a consequence of the offence, including absence from school/college due to mental trauma, bodily injury, medical treatment, investigation and trial of the offence, or any other reason;
(4) Loss of employment as a result of the offence, including absence from place of employment due to mental trauma, bodily injury, medical treatment, investigation and trial of the offence, or any other reason;
(5) The relationship of the victim to the offender, if any;
(6) Whether the abuse was a single isolated incidence or whether the abuse took place over a period of time;
(7) Whether victim became pregnant as a result of the offence, whether she had to undergo Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP)/ give birth to a child, including rehabilitation needs of such child;
(8) Whether the victim contracted a sexually transmitted disease (STD) as a result of the offence;
(9) Whether the victim contracted human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as a result of the offence;
(10) Any disability suffered by the victim as a result of the offence;
(11) Financial condition of the victim against whom the offence has been committed so as to determine her need for rehabilitation and re-integration needs of the victim.
(12) In case of death, the age of deceased, her monthly income, number of dependents, life expectancy, future promotional/growth prospects etc.
(13) Or any other factor which the SLSA/DLSA may consider just and sufficient.
INTERIM RELIEF TO THE VICTIM—
The State Legal Services Authority or District Legal Services Authority, as the case may be, may order for immediate first-aid facility or medical benefits to be made available free of cost or any other interim relief (including interim monetary compensation) as deemed appropriate, to alleviate the suffering of the victim on the certificate of a police officer, not below the rank of the officer-in-charge of the police station, or a Magistrate of the area concerned or on the application of the victim/ dependents or suo moto.
Provided that as soon as the application for compensation is received by the SLSA/DLSA, a sum of Rs.5000/- or as the case warrants up to Rs. 10,000/- shall be immediately disbursed to the victim through preloaded cash card from a Nationalised Bank by the Secretary, DLSA or Member Secretary, SLSA.
Provided that the, interim relief so granted shall not be less than 25 per cent of the maximum compensation awardable as per schedule applicable to this Chapter, which shall be paid to the victim in totality.
SCHEDULE APPLICABLE TO WOMEN VICTIM OF CRIMES
S. No.Particulars of loss or injuryMinimum Limit of CompensationUpper Limit of compensation1Loss of LifeRs. 5 LakhRs. 10 Lakh
2Gang RapeRs. 5 Lakh
Rs. 10 Lakh3RapeRs. 4 Lakh
Rs. 7 Lakh
4Unnatural Sexual AssaultRs. 4 Lakh
Rs. 7 Lakh
5Loss of any Limb or part of body resulting in 80% permanent disability or above
Rs. 2 Lakh
Rs. 5 Lakh
6Loss of any Limb or part of body resulting in 40% and below 80% permanent disabilityRs. 2 Lakh
Rs. 4 Lakh
7Loss of any limb or part of body resulting in above 20% and below 40% permanent disabilityRs. 1 Lakh
Rs. 3 Lakh
8Loss of any limb or part of body resulting in below 20% permanent disabilityRs. 1 Lakh
Rs. 2 Lakh
9Grievous physical injury or any mental injury requiring rehabilitationRs. 1 Lakh
Rs. 2 Lakh
10Loss of Foetus i.e. Miscarriage as a result of Assault or loss of fertility.
Rs. 2 Lakh
Rs. 3 Lakh
11In case of pregnancy on account of rape.Rs.3 LakhRs.4 Lakh12Victims of Burning:a.In case of disfigurement of caseRs. 7 LakhRs. 8 Lakhb.In case of more than 50%Rs. 5 Lakh
Rs. 8 Lakh
c.In case of injury less than 50%Rs. 3 Lakh
Rs. 7 Lakh
d.In case of less than 20%Rs. 2 Lakh
Rs. 3 Lakh
13Victims of Acid Attack-a.In case of disfigurement of face.Rs. 7 LakhRs. 8 Lakhb.In case of injury more than 50%.Rs. 5 LakhRs. 8 Lakhc.In case of injury less than 50%.Rs. 3 Lakh
Rs. 5 Lakh
d.In case of injury less than 20%Rs. 3 LakhRs. 4 Lakh
Note: If a woman victim of sexual assault/acid attack is covered under one or more category of the schedule, she shall be entitled to be considered for combined value of the compensation.