The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Wednesday approved the Delhi government’s Victim Compensation Scheme (VCS) in an order that also reiterated the supremacy of the Lieutenant Governor’s office in governing the capital.
The MHA also tweaked the Delhi government’s proposal with an increase in minimum compensation for victims of sexual assault.
With this approval, Delhi has become the first state to start VCS for victims of sexual assault, accidents, acid attacks, human trafficking, child abuse and kidnapping.
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In its order, the ministry said, “The definition of government should be amended in terms of MHA letter dated July 25, 2002, to state that government means Lt Governor of National Capital Territory. The words government of National Capital territory of Delhi appearing in clause-4 may be replaced by government.”
The MHA also amended the minimum compensation for rape victims as per “the revised Central Victim Compensation
Fund guidelines” issued by the ministry.
In the scheme, there will be a fund, namely the victim compensation fund (VCF), from which the amount of compensation, as decided by the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) or district legal services authority, will be paid to victims or their dependents.
It also comprises budgetary allocation through grants-in-aid to DSLSA for which provisions will be made in the annual budget by the government.
Receipt of amount of fines imposed under Section 357 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 are also supposed to be deposited by the courts in the VCF.
The VCF will also comprise donations, contributions from philanthropists, charitable institutions and individuals.
The approval of the scheme would mean that victims who suffer loss or injury can seek financial compensation.
Whenever a court recommends compensation to a victim or their dependents to the DSLSA, it shall examine the case and verify the contents of the claim.