NATIONAL LEGAL RESEARCH DESK
The Hon’ble Supreme Court in Delhi Domestic Working Women’s Forum Vs. Union of India and others writ petition (CRL) No.362/93 had directed the National Commission for Women to evolve a “scheme so as to wipe out the tears of unfortunate victims of rape’’. The Supreme Court observed that having regard to the Directive principles contained in the Article 38(1) of the Constitution, it was necessary to set up Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, as rape victims besides the mental anguish, frequently incur substantial financial loss and in some cases are too traumatized to continue in employment. The Court further directed that compensation for victims shall be awarded by the Court on conviction of the offender and by the Criminal Injuries compensation board whether or not a conviction has taken place. The Board shall take into account the pain, suffering and shock as well as loss of earnings due to pregnancy and the expenses of child birth if this occurs as a result of rape. To give effect to the aforesaid direction of the Hon’ble Court, the National Commission for women had sent a draft scheme to the Central Government in 1995. The Committee of Secretaries had on this given the following guidelines in this regard:-
(i). That a plan scheme would be prepared by the NCW/DWCD for disbursing compensation to the victims of rape and the scheme should also provide for interim compensation.
(ii). The quantum of compensation is to be worked out by the DWCD in consultation with the NCW.
(iii). Provision for budgetary requirements for the Scheme, which would be transferred to the states as Grants-in-Aid.
(iv). Setting up of District level Committees headed by District Magistrate, to consider the claims.
(v). Criminal Injuries Compensation Board to monitor the implementation of the scheme by the State Government and attending to any complaint received in this regard.
(vi). The MHA would issue suitable directives to state governments for directing the public prosecutors to plead before the competent court to award suitable compensation to the victims.
(vii). Monitoring of the scheme by the National Commission for women.
The NCW has redrafted the Scheme in the light of these guidelines in formulating the scheme, the Commission is also guided by the parameters given by the Supreme Court as well as its own assessment of the needs of the victims of rape.