Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Haryana announces compensation plan for trafficking victims
For the hundreds who are victims of human trafficking, sexual assault, or injured or have lost dear ones in crimes committed every year in the city, and especially those from the weaker sections of society, a new proposal by the state government is likely to be a much-needed breather.
The state has decided to implement a new scheme - 'Haryana Victim Compensation Scheme 2013' - to provide funds for the purpose of compensation to the victims or dependents who have suffered loss or injury as a result of the crime, and who require rehabilitation.
"Under this scheme, compensation ranging from Rs 25,000 to Rs 3 lakh will be paid for loss of life, loss of a limb or part of body, loss or injury causing severe mental agony to women and child victims of human trafficking, kidnapping, molestation and also in case of rape," said a senior official.
A victim will be eligible for the grant of compensation where, a recommendation is made by the court under relevant sections or the offender (accused in a crime) is not traced or identified, but the victim is identified, and where no trial takes place.
However, to be eligible for such compensation, the income of the family should not exceed Rs 4.5 lakh per annum. Also, the crime (on account of which the compensation is to be paid under this scheme) should have been occurred within the jurisdiction of Haryana state.
The District Legal Service Authority will decide the quantum of compensation on the basis of loss caused to the victim, medical expenses to be incurred on treatment, minimum sustenance, amount required for rehabilitation, including such incidental charges like funeral expenses. The compensation may vary from case to case depending on fact of each case.
Compensation received by the victim from the state in relation to the crime in question, namely, insurance, ex-gratia or payment received under any other Act or 'Rajiv Gandhi Pariwar Bima Yojna' or any other state-run scheme, will be considered as part of the compensation amount under this scheme and will be deemed to be compensated under this scheme.
However, the official clarified that cases covered under Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, wherein compensation is to be awarded by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, will not be covered under the scheme.
Under the scheme, a "victim compensation fund" will be set up. "The fund will have a budgetary allocation for which necessary provision will be made in the annual budget (of the state). It would also have the receipt of amount of fines imposed under section 357 of the Code of Criminal Procedure Act and ordered to be deposited by the courts in the fund," said the official.
In order to make convicts accountable for crimes committed, the fund will also have amounts of compensation recovered from the wrongdoer or accused and donations and contributions from international, national, philanthropist, charitable institution or organization and individuals.