The Maharashtra government has decided to use funds collected as part of corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives to provide monetary relief to victims of rape, child sexual assault and acid attack under the Manodhairya scheme. The Women and Child Development (WCD) Department has issued a government resolution notifying the revised scheme, following changes suggested by a high court-appointed committee.
Officials from the WCD said that the State Legal Services Authority will open a designated Manodhairya Assistance Account, in which the government would deposit funds every year. The funds received as part of CSR contributions will be deposited in the designated bank account, an official said.
“There are several organisations that are ready to contribute for the rehabilitation of these victims. Some of them do not even want to disclose their identities. All these funds received through such CSR initiatives will be deposited in the designated account and will be used for its intended purpose,” said Vinita Singhal, secretary of the WCD department.
The department has also increased compensation to Rs 10 lakh in case a woman dies due to rape. Earlier, the compensation was Rs 2 lakh in case the rape of a working woman leads to her death. The sum was Rs 1 lakh for women who were not working.
Officials said that the scheme would have retrospective effect in terms of financial relief. The state or district legal services authority has been given powers to receive applications and disburse the amounts to the victims.
The authority will grant the benefits on receiving necessary documents from the victim, such as FIR report, preliminary medical report, and so on, an official said.
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The official further said that an amount of Rs 30,000 would be disbursed to victims within seven days of receiving documents regarding their medical treatment. The authority would grant the rest of the amount withing 120 days after an in-depth inquiry.
“The victim is expected to support the statement recorded under CrPC Section 164 in court. The amount will be recovered from the victims if they have deliberately not supported the prosecution’s case, if the case led to acquittal or if the case turned out to be false,” added the official.