Drive to increase awareness about the Delhi Victims’ Compensation Scheme
Reply to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed that Delhi Government has paid only about Rs. 2.6 crore of the allotted Rs.15 crore to sexual assault victims in the last three years under the Delhi Victims’ Compensation Scheme, 2011. The reply shows that between 2011 and 2013, there were 778 beneficiaries who received Rs. 2,60,16,394 from the government.
The Delhi Government had notified the Delhi Victims’ Compensation Scheme in pursuance of Article 357A of the CrPC. It aims at providing funds for compensating survivors or their dependants who suffered loss or injury due to any crime and also for those who require rehabilitation. The Delhi Legal Services Authority (DLSA) plays a pivotal role in the scheme and a victim can get compensation only after DLSA recommends the case.
The area SHO shares the FIR with the Secretary of the district and then it reaches the Delhi Legal Services Authority (DLSA). After the recommendation of the DLSA, the case reaches the Delhi Government which gives sanction and finally the compensation is released by the Divisional Commissioner. As per data, the DLSA had recommended 201 cases in 2013 for compensation, out of which 38 cases received sanction and the compensation is yet to be released.
Most victims are not aware of their rights under the scheme and the Delhi High Court had recently directed the Delhi State Government to take measures to increase the awareness level of the scheme amongst the population. The High Court said “We direct the Government counsel to file an affidavit declaring the total number of cases in each category so that the proportion of cases in which claims have been preferred can be gauged.”
The matter is scheduled to come up before the court on March 12.