With the Haryana government yet to implement its gender-neutral compensation policy for acid attack victims, the Punjab and Haryana High Court Saturday come to the rescue of a three-year-old boy and asked the Gurgaon Deputy Commissioner and Legal Services Authority to pay Rs 1 lakh each as compensation to the victim’s family. The HC also directed the authorities to provide free treatment to the child.
“It is needless to mention that Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar has been very sympathetic and approved the scheme to include the benefit to male children upto 18 years of age but the matter is still hanging for want of approval from the Planning and Finance Department. I do not know how long it would take to get approval from the Planning and Finance Department but the fact remains that the child needs immediate treatment,” said Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain. The victim’s father had moved HC for amendment in the Relief and Rehabilitation of Women Acid Victims policy and sought inclusion of male child in the definition of “acid victim” under the scheme. He had also prayed for compensation and proper treatment in his plea.
The victim, son of a labourer residing in Gurgoan, was kidnapped last year in December and a day later, was discovered in a dustbin with burn injuries caused by acid. During the treatment, he had been denied compensation saying the policy was only for women and not male children. “The inclusion of the benefit to male child upto 18 years of age under the said scheme has been approved by the Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and now, was waiting for the Planning and Finance Department’s approval. As and when the approval is received, necessary actions will be initiated,” said Haryana government counsels to the High Court.
Notwithstanding the approval, the High Court has directed the Haryana government to apply the scheme in cases of the male children. meanwhile, the Punjab and Haryana High Court, in a different case last month, had asked both states to suitably amend the policies of compensation to include victims of both male and female genders.