New Delhi: Chief Justice of Indian KG Balakrishnan on Sunday mooted creation of a fund to rehabilitate and provide succour to rape victims through district legal service authorities.
"The Union Government and the State government should create the fund for compensation to be awarded to (rape) victims," which, he said, could be disbursed through district legal service authorities.
Unfortunately, many legislations are enacted but timely steps are not taken by the government, he said in his keynote address at the National Consultation on Access to
Justice, Relief and Rehabilitation of Rape Victims.
A legislation was enacted in 2005 (on providing monetary compensation to victims) but it was not implemented.
"I am told it has now been notified," he said.
The CJI made the observation even as Minister of State for Women and Child Welfare Krishna Tirath in her inaugural address announced the Government`s determination to
implement the 2005 rehabilitation scheme for rape victims under which compensation could go upto a maximum of Rs three lakh.
Law Minister M Veerappa Moily lamented that the justice delivery system was more "accused-centric" and the victim felt isolated mentally, physically and psychologically.
Moily said the accused is even provided with a counsel to defend himself but there were few provisions to assess and protect the victims.
The Law Minister said the government was now focusing more on compensation and rehabilitation of victims.
Tirath said the "Relief and Rehabilitation of Victims of Rape 2005 " scheme was formulated by the Government in pursuant to an apex court judgement to give adequate
compensation and rehabilitation measures for rape victims.
Under the scheme, the district boards would be authorised to sanction an amount of Rs 20,000 as interim relief immediately on the registration of an FIR and Rs 50,000
based upon the victim`s rehabilitation needs.
Besides, the scheme envisages a final relief of Rs 1.3 lakh to the victim after she gives evidence in the trial court. Under rule 16 of the scheme, there is a provision for
enhancement upto Rs three lakh.
She also underlined the need for setting up fast track courts to deal with rape cases.
The Chief Justice of India also sought to debunk the argument that "high mobility" of women in the modern times was one of the primary cause for increase in rape cases.
" I do not agree with this proposition. Because it is the task of the criminal justice system to prevent and punish the culprits," he observed.
He also said that it was established that most of the victims are known to the accused, but many of them do not come forward to lodge complaints due to the social stigma attached to such offences.