The scheme proposed by the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) for compensating victims of sexual assault and acid attacks should be made applicable to child victims of such assaults, said the Supreme Court on Wednesday.
A bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta was of the opinion that the scheme should be modified to some extent to include children of sexual assault.
The bench asked senior advocate Indira Jaising, assisting the court as an amicus curiae in the matter, if slight modifications could be done in the ‘Compensation Scheme for Women Victims/Survivors of Sexual Assault/Other Crimes-2018’ to also include child victims.
The bench asked Jaising to submit a note in this regard to the court.
The NALSA’s scheme clearly defines the compensation slabs for victims of sexual assault, acid attacks and even loss of a foetus, and earmarks minimum Rs 5 lakh and Rs 7 lakh respectively for women who go through a crisis post sexual assault or an acid attack/
As per the scheme, a minimum of Rs 5 lakh is to be paid in case of loss of life or gang rape of a victim and maximum of Rs 10 lakh. A minimum amount of Rs 4 lakh is to be paid in case of rape or unnatural sexual assault, with the maximum fixed at Rs 7 lakh.
In case of victims of burning and acid attacks, the minimum compensation will be Rs 7 lakh for total disfigurement, with a maximum of Rs 8 lakh. Rs 5 lakh has been fixed in case of 50 per cent burns, while the upper limit would be Rs 8 lakh.
For loss of limb or body part resulting in 80 per cent permanent disability, Rs 2 lakh is to be given, with Rs 2 lakh in case of grievous physical injury.
The scheme provides that in case of pregnancy on account of rape, the victim would get between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 4 lakh, while for miscarriage or loss of fertility due to such assaults, the amount would be between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 3 lakh.
After the December 16, 2012, gang-rape and murder case in Delhi, the Central government announced in 2013 the Nirbhaya Fund scheme to support state governments and NGOs working for women’s safety.
The court was hearing petitions filed after the 2012 case, raising concerns over the safety and security of women.
Earlier, NALSA had told the apex court that hardly 5-10 per cent of sexual assault victims across the country were able to get compensation under the relevant schemes in various states.