Case BriefsHigh Courts

Karnataka High Court: Alok Aradhe, J. dismissed a petition filed under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India with respect to the claim for compensation under the Victim Compensation Scheme been rejected.

In the present petition, the petitioner sought a writ of certiorari with respect to the quashing of communication through which the claim for petitioner’s compensation under the Victim Compensation Scheme was rejected. Along with the stated petitioner also sought a writ of mandamus to the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority to release an amount of Rs 7 lakhs as compensation in accordance with the revised scheme.

In accordance with the facts of the case as stated, the petitioner claimed to be a rape victim on the basis of which after the FIR and investigation were duly completed, the petitioner’s father made a representation for grant of compensation under the Victim Compensation Scheme before the District Legal Services Authority.

Further, the above-stated authority passed an award by which the petitioner was directed to pay a sum of Rs 3 lakhs as compensation. Though, during the pendency of the proceeding before the Authority, in the criminal case, the petitioner and petitioner’s father were both declared hostile.

Thus in view of the above, the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority through an order had set aside the order awarding compensation passed by the Authority on the ground of petitioner and petitioner’s father turning hostile following which the petitioner approached the High Court.

Conclusion

High Court on perusal of the facts and circumstances of the matter, stated that in the exercise of powers under Section 357-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 the State Government framed Karnataka Victim Compensation Scheme, 2007. Clause 6(3) and clause 7(10) of the scheme read as under:

“6(3) The victim/claimant shall cooperate with police and prosecution during the investigation and trial of the case.”

7(10) If a victim or his dependants have obtained an order sanctioning compensation under this scheme of false/vexatious/fabricated complaint which is so held by the Trial Court, the compensation awarded shall be recovered with 15% interest per annum.

From the perusal of the above-stated clauses of the scheme, it is evident that the victim has to cooperate with the prosecution during the investigation and trial and the complaint filed by her should not be fabricated.

High Court held that the petitioner, as well as her father, were declared hostile, they violated clause 6(3) of the scheme and therefore, were not entitles to seek compensation. Thus on finding no merits in the case, the Court dismissed the same. [XXX  v.  Karnataka State Legal Services Authority, 2019 SCC OnLine Kar 1738, decided on 16-09-2019]

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: The 10-year-old girl, who’s plea to terminate her pregnancy was refused by the Supreme Court on 28.07.2017, will receive Rs. 10 Lakh compensation from the Chandigarh Administration as directed by the Court. The Court asked the Chandigarh administration to release Rs. 1 Lakh to the family of the girl and keep the remaining Rs. 9 Lakh in Fixed Deposit.

On 28.07.2017, the Court had held that allowing the termination of her pregnancy might be dangerous for the girl’s health, based on the medical report of the 10-year-old rape survivor who was repeatedly raped by her uncle. The Medical Board of PGI, Chandigarh said in it’s report that  it would neither be in the interest of the girl child nor the alive foetus, which is approximately 32-weeks-old, to order abortion.

Source: ANI

Case BriefsHigh Courts

High Court of Madras: The Court while examining a petition filed for compensation by the petitioner in view of severity of the petitioner’s injury, from the first respondent in connection with the crime under Sections 294(b) and 307  IPC, the Bench comprising of V. Bharathidasan, J., directed the petitioner/victim to claim compensation from the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) under the Victim Compensation Scheme (VCS) framed under Section 357-A  CrPC. The petitioner/victim  moved the court seeking compensation in view of the severity of her injury, expenditure with regard to grafting and reconstruction surgery, physical and mental pain and for disability due to the acid attack thrown on her by attacker, Vennila, as result of frequent quarrels and even after taken extensive treatment the petitioner/victim has totally lost her sight.

The Court directed petitioner/victim to make an application before the District Legal Services Authority since petitioner/victim had not filed any application seeking compensation under the Victim Compensation Scheme framed under Section 357-A  CrPC, within a period of three weeks from the date of judgment. The Court also issued direction to DLSA to consider the application of victim and pass orders for recommending the petitioner’s case for compensation within a period of 12 weeks thereafter. [Muthulakshmi v. The District Collector, Ramnad District, 2016 SCC OnLine Mad 10398, decided on 22nd November, 2016]

Supreme Court

Supreme Court: Considering the need for implementation of the victim compensation scheme, the bench comprising of Adarsh K.Goel and V. Gopala Gowda, JJ held that it is the duty of the Courts, on taking cognizance of a criminal offence, to ascertain whether there is tangible material to show commission of crime, whether the victim is identifiable and whether the victim of crime needs immediate financial relief, thereby granting interim compensation subject to final compensation being determined later.

L. Nageshwar Rao, the Additional Solicitor General for India, while assisting the Court in the matter, submitted that even though Section 357A CrPC was enacted five years ago, but the victim compensation scheme has still not become the rule and the Courts are also not granting the interim compensation to the victims. It was also brought into the Court’s notice that 25 out of 29 States had notified the victim compensation schemes, thereby specifying the maximum limit of compensation and leaving the discretion to decide the quantum of compensation with the State/District Legal Service Authorities, subject to the maximum limit. However, it was submitted that the upper limit of compensation fixed by some of the States was arbitrarily low and was not in keeping with the object of the legislation.

Taking note of the aforementioned submissions, the Court opined that there was a need to consider upward revision in the scale for compensation and that a copy of this judgment be forwarded to National Judicial Academy so that all judicial officers in the country can be imparted requisite training to make the provision operative and meaningful. 

In the present case, where the family member of the deceased persons, who had been kidnapped and murdered, had asked for compensation, the Court ordered that interim compensation of Rs. 10 lacks be given to them by the Haryana State Legal Service Authority within one month from the date of the order. Suresh v. State of Haryana, 2014 SCC OnLine SC 952, decided on 28.11.2014