Mumbai: The Maharashtra government on Monday informed the Bombay High Court that a draft policy for rehabilitation and compensation of rape, sexual assault and acid attack victims will be tabled before the cabinet shortly.
Public prosecutor Revati Dere informed the court that the Maharashtra Women and Child Welfare Department has framed a draft policy which will be tabled before the cabinet soon.
"The draft policy provides assistance for rape victims, acid attack victims and sexual assault victims," Dere told the court.
This was in reply to a division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice AV Mohta which heard a public interest litigation 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.
According to the petition, in 1995, National Commission of Women had framed a scheme and submitted to the central government on this issue.
"However, till date the state government has not taken any steps towards the same. Neither a compensation board nor victim compensation fund has been formed yet. As per statistics, 24,206 rape cases were registered all over the country in 2011," petitioner`s lawyer Mihir Desai said.
The bench has directed the government to file an affidavit within four weeks on the status of the draft policy.
"Besides financial assistance, the scheme should also provide legal and medical assistance. A lawyer should be present with the victim even when she goes to the police station to lodge her complaint.
A list of lawyers` names should be prepared and kept in every police station so that when a rape victim goes to the police station to lodge a case, the police should ask her if she wants a lawyer to represent her," the petition stated.