Despite the fact that she went back on her statement, the permanent Lok Adalat has granted a compensation of Rs 3 lakh to the girl from Khuda Lahora who had alleged gangrape by five UT police constables, all of whom were dismissed from service after she named them in her complaint in December 2013. The money has been granted under the victim compensation scheme of the state legal services authorities three months after the accused were acquitted because she retracted. The accused constables have still not been reinstated by the Chandigarh Police.
According to the orders for the compensation, the complainant is entitled for the compensation because she was a minor and rape was confirmed in the medical examination. The order of Chief Judicial Magistrate Anubhav Sharma, secretary of SLSA, states that the “applicant is a victim of sexual offence.”
The order states, “In the present case, the victim being a minor, even for her consent, could not have entered into a sexual offence. Thus, being a victim of rape for the purpose of Schedule I of the Union Territory of Chandigarh Victim Assistance Scheme, 2012, she is entitled to assistance for the purpose of her rehabilitation as a result of crime against her.”
The detailed order clearly mentions that the complainant’s statements recorded before a magistrate under Section 164 Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) was different from her deposition in the court.
When she was confronted by the public prosecutor after she turned hostile, “She said that she had given the said statement under public pressure, but she admitted that the magistrate had recorded the statement which was narrated by her. Her statements disclosed that she had stated about her consensual relationship with one of the accused Akshay but denied sexual assault by others”.
The order further reads that though the accused have been acquitted from the case on benefit of doubt, the fact remains that the “present applicant is a victim of sexual offence”.
Manjit Kaur Sandhu, her counsel, said the application for compensation was moved in August, but after that the complainant was not traceable. “We had to look for her and get her statements recorded because of which there was a delay in the case.”
While acquitting the accused on November 11, the Additional District and Sessions Judge Anshu Shukla had held that the “testimony of the prosecutrix does not inspire confidence. She has come forward with different versions at different times.”