Srinagar: Amid a controversy over its scheme to compensate victims of rape and other forms of violence against women, Jammu and Kashmir government on Sunday said it was merely following Supreme Court`s directions to the Centre and state governments in this regard.
A spokesperson of the Home Department clarified that the Supreme Court had directed the Centre and state governments to formulate a compensation scheme for victims of violence, including cases of death, disability, rape and human trafficking.
Some political parties and editorials in a section of the press have criticised the scheme as well as the state government`s decision to revise compensation under it.
Reacting to the criticism, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said the compensation was not meant to be a substitute for punishment to perpetrators.
".. It`s no one`s case that this is a substitute for the culprit being punished. The law will follow its own course as was the case earlier," Omar wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter.
The state cabinet, during a meeting chaired by the Chief Minister on Friday, had approved revised and enhanced compensation for victims of violence, mainly focusing on women and children.
The Home Department spokesperson said following the Supreme Court direction, the preparation of the compensation scheme was mandatory for each state and Union Territory, and accordingly, the state government notified its Victim Compensation Scheme on April 23.
Flogging those who were criticising the state government for the scheme, Omar said, "It never ceases to amaze me how a perfectly good initiative taken by a Government can be twisted and misrepresented to suit an editorial line."
He said the state government had only made a provision that victims of violence get compensation.
"Anyone who believes that violence doesn`t exist is living in fool`s paradise. So what`s wrong with ensuring compensation to the victims?" he said.