New Delhi:The National Legal Services Authority(NALSA) has revealed that only 5-10% sexual assault victims in India were getting compensation under the relevant schemes in various states.
“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. In Andhra Pradesh, 901 cases were registered (in 2017), but only one victim got compensation. At the outer limit, maximum 10 per cent victims were getting compensation,” the director NALSA, S S Rathi, told the supreme court on Tuesday.
The National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) told a bench comprising justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta that 840 cases were lodged in Andhra Pradesh in 2016 but only eight victims got compensation. Out of 1,028 cases registered in 2017 under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act in the state, only 11 victims got compensated.
Similarly in Rajasthan, 3,305 such FIRs were registered in 2017 and 140 victims had received compensation under these schemes, while in Bihar, 1,199 FIRs of sexual assaults were lodged in the 2017 but only 82 victims were compensated, the data showed.
She said that suo motu (on its own) power should also be given to the legal services authority to grant compensation to the victims, as was already being done in Delhi.
The bench, on hearing the brief submissions, said it would pass directions on May 10 with regard to compensation scheme for victims and survivors of sexual assaults.
The apex court said it would consider in July 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.
Nirbhaya Fund was announced by the Centre in 2013 after the December 16, 2012 gangrape and murder case in Delhi to support the initiatives on women’s safety across the country.
The top court had earlier observed that nothing would materialise if money from the Nirbhaya fund was not properly spent on women’s welfare. It had said there was no lack of funds under the scheme but the issue was of proper utilisation.
Earlier, the Centre had told the apex court that it was finding it difficult to get the cooperation of states on the issue relating to disbursal of compensation to the victims of sexual assault under the Nirbhaya scheme.