Supreme Court: The Division Bench comprising of Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta JJ., while delivering an order stated that the scheme proposed by National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) for compensating the victims of sexual assault, acid attack and other crimes require modification to “some extent”.
Background of the scheme:
The Supreme Court of India in Nipun Saxena v. Union of India, WP (C) No. 565 of 2012 had opined that “it would be appropriate if NALSA sets up a Committee of about 4 or 5 persons who can prepare Model Rules for Victim Compensation for sexual offences and acid attacks taking into account the submissions made by the learned Amicus. The learned Amicus, as well as the learned Solicitor General, have offered to assist the Committee as and when required. The Chairperson or the nominee of the Chairperson of the National Commission for Women should be associated with the Committee.”
Further, the committee had finalized the “Compensation Scheme for Women Victims/Survivors of Sexual Assault/other Crimes” and submitted the same before the Supreme Court on 24-04-2018.
As per NALSA’s scheme, the victim of gangrape in any part of the country would now get a minimum compensation of Rs 5 lakhs and up to a maximum of Rs 10 lakhs. Similarly, in case of rape and unnatural sexual assault, the victim would get a minimum of Rs 4 lakhs and maximum of Rs 7 lakhs as compensation. The scheme also says that victim of acid attacks, in case of disfigurement of face, would get a minimum compensation of Rs 7 lakhs, while the upper limit would be Rs 8 lakhs. In acid attack cases, if the injury was more than 50 percent, a minimum compensation of Rs 5 lakhs would be given, while the maximum would be Rs 8 lakhs.
Hence, in the present order, the Supreme Court stated that slight modifications in the above-mentioned scheme were required in order to embed the “child victims” under it as well.