With rising cases of sexual abuse across the country, state governments routinely award compensation to the survivors. But are all survivors actually able to get the compensation due to them? No. Only about 5-10% survivors are across the country get compensation through government schemes. The National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) disclosed this shocking fact to a Supreme Court bench during a hearing.
NALSA showed the bench currently available data and said that in Andhra Pradesh where state police last year lodged a total 901 cases of crimes against women, only one person has obtained compensation till now.
“The data of state legal services authority of the states on utilisation of fund have been compiled. Hardly 5-10 per cent victims (of sexual assault) are able to get compensation. It is startling. At the outer limit, maximum 10 per cent victims were getting compensation,” S S Rathi, Director of NALSA, told the bench, NDTV reported.
NALSA also referred to data from previous years. In 2016, Andhra Pradesh police filed 840 cases of rape, molestation etc. but only eight survivors have got compensation. This is the case across ages, like in 2017 under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act in the state, police registered 1,028 cases, of which families of only 11 victims have received compensation.
Speaking of Rajasthan, NALSA said that in 2017, Rajasthan Police recorded 3,305 cases, but only 140 victims got compensation. And in Bihar where the state police registered 1,199 cases of sexual assault in the same year, only 82 victims obtained compensation.
Rathi has promised the bench, comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta, that the organisation will file the complete data with the court soon.
Senior advocate Indira Jaising, who appeared as amicus curiae in the court, told the bench that NALSA has proposed two “vital additions” in the victim compensation scheme.
Rajasthan Police recorded 3,305 cases but only 140 victims got compensation. And in Bihar where the state police registered 1,199 cases of sexual assault in 2017, only 82 victims obtained compensation
She added that the state police must keep the legal services authority of the state government in the loop of all the FIRs filed against sexual assault so the state government can work faster to release compensation of victims.
The bench is yet to take a decision on this. It said that it would take up the issues related to section 228-A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) which deals with disclosure of identity of victims of sexual offences and utilisation of Nirbhaya Fund by the states in July.