NALSA’s Compensation Scheme for Women Victims/Survivors of Sexual Assault/other Crimes – 2018

Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in W.P. (C) No. 565/2012 titled Nipun Saxena Vs. Union of India opined 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.” In view of the above, NALSA set up a committee for preparation of Model Scheme. 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 Part – II of the Victims Compensation Scheme and invited suggestions/comments from various stakeholders on the draft. Taking into consideration the suggestions/comments, the Committee has finalized the Compensation 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. Hon’ble Supreme Court of India further observed that while nothing should be taken away from this Scheme, but it does not preclude the State Governments/UT Administrations from adding to the Scheme. The Chapter contained in this part shall be called “Compensation Scheme for Women Victims/Survivors of Sexual Assault/other Crimes”. The main features of the chapter are reproduced here: 1. It shall apply to the victims and their dependent(s) who have suffered loss, injury, as the case may be, as a result of the offence committed and who require rehabilitation and the same will also extend to minor victims till a government scheme in accordance with POCSO. Read more at: 2. PROCEDURE FOR MAKING APPLICATION BEFORE THE SLSA OR DLSA— 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. 3. PLACE OF FILING OF APPLICATION— The application/recommendation for compensation can be moved either before the State Legal Services Authority or the concerned District Legal Services Authority or it can be filed online on a portal which shall be created by all State Legal Services Authorities. The Secretary of the respective DLSA shall decide the application/ recommendation moved before him/her as per the Scheme. Explanation: In case of acid attack victim the deciding authority shall be Criminal Injury Compensation Board as directed by Hon’ble Supreme Court in Laxmi vs. Union of India W.P.CRML 129/2006 order dated 10.04.2015 which includes Ld. District & Sessions Judge, DM, SP, Civil Surgeon/CMO of the district. 4. RELIEFS THAT MAY BE AWARDED BY THE STATE OR DISTRICT LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITY. – The SLSA or DLSA may award compensation to the victim or her dependents to the extent as specified in the scheduled attached hereto which is reproduced here:- SCHEDULE APPLICABLE TO WOMEN VICTIM OF CRIMES S. No. Particulars of loss or injury Minimum Limit of Compensation Upper Limit of compensation 1 Loss of life 5 lakh 10 Lakh 2 Gang Rape 5 Lakh 10 Lakh 3 Rape 4 Lakh 7 Lakh 4 Unnatural Sexual Assault 4 Lakh 7 Lakh 5 Loss of any Limb or part of body resulting in 80% permanent disability or above 2 Lakh 5 Lakh 6 Loss of any Limb or part of body resulting in 40% and below 80% permanent disability 2 Lakh 4 Lakh 7 Loss of any limb or part of body resulting in above 20% and below 40% permanent disability 1 Lakh 3 Lakh 8 Loss of any limb or part of body resulting in below 20% permanent disability 1 Lakh 2 lakh 9 Grievous physical injury or any mental injury requiring rehabilitation 1 Lakh 2 lakh 10 Loss of Foetus i.e. Miscarriage as a result of Assault or loss of fertility. 2 Lakh 3 Lakh 11 In case of pregnancy on account of rape. 3 Lakh 4 Lakh 12 12 Victims of Burning: a. In case of disfigurement of case 7 Lakh 8 Lakh b. In case of more than 50% 5 Lakh 8 Lakh c. In case of injury less than 50% 3 Lakh 7Lakh d. In case of less than 20% 2 lakh 3 Lakh 13 Victims of Acid Attack- a. In case of disfigurement of face. 7 Lakh 8 Lakh b. In case of injury more than 50%. 5 Lakh 8 Lakh c. In case of injury less than 50%. 3 Lakh 5 Lakh d. In case of injury less than 20% 3 lakh 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. Provided further that the victim may also be paid such further amount as is admissible under this Scheme. After consideration of the matter, the SLSA or DLSA, as the case may be, upon its satisfaction, shall decide the quantum of compensation to be awarded to the victim or her dependent(s) taking into account the factors enumerated in Clause 8 of the Scheme, as per schedule appended to this chapter. However, in deserving cases, for reasons to be recorded, the upper limit may be exceeded. Moreover, in case the victim is minor, the limit of compensation shall be deemed to be 50% higher than the amount mentioned in the Schedule appended to this chapter. (The author is a practising advocate in Delhi/NCR keen on spreading awareness about legal rights. Despite the legal research, this article only meant to be informative and do not form any legal opinion or client-lawyer relationship.)

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