Mangaluru, Nov 30, 2018: The state government has enhanced the compensation amount to women victims of sexual assault by up to Rs 10 lakh.
In the previous victim compensation scheme (VCS) formulated in February 2012, the maximum compensation awarded to a rape victim had never exceeded Rs 3 lakh. Under NALSA’s (National Legal Services Authority) model revised scheme, a victim of gang rape is eligible for a compensation of up to Rs 10 lakh (minimum Rs 5 Lakh).
“Besides survivors of sexual assault, women dependents who lost their husbands would be entitled to compensation,” sources in Kodagu District Legal Services Authority (KDLSA) told DH.
In May, the Supreme Court in Nipun Saxena versus Union of India case (No 565/2012) had ordered all state governments and Union Territories to implement NALSA’s model victim compensation scheme.
NALSA’s VCS also empowers the member secretary to suo motu recommend interim compensation to victims without waiting for the victim to apply for compensation.
The revised VCS also makes it mandatory for district legal service authority (DLSA) to release interim compensation (25% of the total compensation) irrespective of the outcome.
Who is eligible?
Karnataka State Legal Services Authority (KSLSA) in its written reply informed that so far, no authority had submitted reports recommending compensation under the revised model VCS to them for ratification. Sources in Kodagu DLSA informed that two reports recommending enhanced compensation for Pocso (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) victims were submitted to KSLSA for ratification recently.
“Though the sexual assault on minors took place years ago, the complaint was registered in the jurisdictional police stations after the government had implemented model VCS,’’ sources in Kodagu DLSA informed and hoped that KSLSA would ratify their recommendations as the rape victims from poor families had been left to fend themselves and their babies.