More than a year after it was first mooted,the states compensation policy for victims of rape,acid attack and other crimes against women was finalised Tuesday. It will be placed before the Cabinet for approval Wednesday. The earlier draft was stuck with a number of state departments,such as Home and Finance,for a long time and a modified draft was finally given a go-ahead last week.
The draft policy originally sought to provide financial aid ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 3 lakh for victims solely on the basis of an FIR and approval from the Superintendent of Police. The modified draft states that part of the compensation will be paid only after a chargesheet is filed and the case is scrutinised by a district-level committee. The change was brought in after various departments,including Chief Secretary J K Banthias office,raised concerns over its possible misuse.
An official from the Women and Child Welfare Department said for victims of acid attack and rape who have suffered grievous physical injury,50-75 per cent of the compensation amount of Rs 3 lakh would be paid once an FIR is filed and the rest after the case is scrutinised by a district level rehabilitation committee and a chargesheet is filed.
In case of acid attack and physical injuries caused due to sexual assault,75 per cent will be given immediately for medical treatment. Cases of only rape/sexual abuse need proper verification,therefore 50 per cent amount will be paid upfront and the remaining after the chargesheet, said the official.
The committee will be headed by the district collector with SP and the district-level women and child welfare department officer as members.
The Mumbai committee will be headed by the presiding officer of the state-run Cama Hospital.
The State CID (Pune) statistics show that there were 1,839 adult victims and 987 minor victims of rape and three acid attack victims in Maharashtra in 2012. Accordingly,a provision of Rs 68.80 crore has been made by the state government in the current financial year. Fifty per cent of the total amount will be borne by the Centre.
The proposal also includes providing counseling,medical and legal help and education as well as vocational education for the victims. This will be done by setting up a trauma team in each district.
Following the acid attack on nursing graduate Preeti Rathi in Mumbai in May,the Supreme Court had observed that the current compensation package given by states ranges between Rs 5,000 and Rs 1.5 lakh,which it said was inadequate.
The apex court had then asked the states to increase the compensation amount to at least Rs 3 lakh.