Calcutta High Court: With the acid attack incidents at a rise and the struggle that the victims face throughout their lives, the order by A.K. Roy, J. came as a relief to the acid attack victims, where it was said that the order passed by the Supreme Court in Laxmi v Union of India, (2014) 4 SCC 431, directing the State authorities to pay compensation to the victims is mandatory in nature and that mandate cannot be disobeyed. Rejecting the contention of Sumon Sengupta, the Counsel for the State, that the said order of the Supreme Court was not applicable in the represent case as the State of Bengal already had the West Bengal Victim Compensation Scheme, 2012, the Court held that the amount of compensation fixed by the State Government under the West Bengal Victim Compensation Scheme, 2012 stands completely superseded by the order of the Supreme Court. Considering the order of the Supreme Court which categorically directed that the acid attack victim be paid a total sum of Rs. 3 lakhs out of which a sum of Rs.1 lakh be paid within 15 days of occurrence of such incident or being brought to the notice of the State Government/Union Territory, the Court held that it cannot be urged that no order for compensation can be made until the scheme is finally formulated without same being forwarded to it by the Court of Compensation or by the Legal Aid Authorities.
In the present case, the petitioner who suffered severe internal and external burn injuries as his, along with his family members, forcibly poured acid in her mouth, through her counsel Debasish Banerjee and Debrup Bhattacharyya, contended that she had approached the Chief Secretary, Government of Bengal with a prayer awarding compensation in the first week of August, 2013 but no her case had not been considered till date. The Court, hence, directed the Chief Secretary to pay a total sum of Rs. 3 lakhs to the petitioner, out of which, a sum of Rs. 1 lakh be paid within fifteen days from the date of communication of this order and the balance amount be paid within two months thereafter. Sabana Khatun v. State of West Bengal, W.P. No. 34704(w) of 2013, decided on February 28th, 2014
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