Mumbai: Urging the Maharashtra government to show a sense of urgency and concern towards victims of sexual and physical abuse, the Bombay High Court on Thursday directed the state to implement a scheme which provides for financial compensation to these victims.
"The state government should show some sense of urgency and concern towards victims of rape, sexual assault and acid attacks. When there is a scheme put in place by the central government let it be implemented at the earliest," a division bench of Justices S C Dharmadhikari and S B Shukre said.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by NGO `Forum Against Oppression of Women`, seeking implementation of a Supreme Court directive to form a policy for providing legal, medical and financial assistance for rehabilitating and compensating rape victims.
The court was today informed that the proposal has been placed before the state Home department for sanction and would be passed within two months.
The court was irked with this and said, "The guidelines were issued by the government of India on December 9, 2010. We are in 2013. The state government has not taken any concrete steps yet."
Observing that incidents of violence against women and children are increasing, Justice Dharmadhikari said, "These are not measures that can be postponed. Formalities cannot take its own sweet time. We expect a welfare state to show a sense of urgency in formulating the scheme and offer some solace to the victims."
The court said it expects the government to put the scheme in place within eight weeks and that it would not extend the time period.
According to the petition, in 1995, National Commission of Women had framed a scheme and submitted to the central government on this issue. The PIL demanded that besides financial assistance, the scheme should also provide legal and medical help. It also demanded that a lawyer should be present with the victim even when she goes to police station to lodge her complaint.