Monday, February 26, 2024

Compensation scheme yet to become fully effective


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SHILLONG: The State Government is yet to take effective steps to provide fund for the rape victims as per the Meghalaya Victim Compensation Scheme, 2011.
It was on March 20, 2012 that the Government had officially notified the scheme.
Every year there are at least 150 rape cases, mostly involving minors are reported in the State.
Except the case of the Williamnagar rape victim, the State Government has not been able to provide relief to other rape victims.
The  rape victims can  get  upto Rs 50,000 as compensation , while  Rs 25,000 has been fixed for the injury which causes severe mental agony to women and child victims in cases such as human trafficking,  kidnapping and others.
The scheme stipulates that “whenever a recommendation is made by the Court on an application made by any victim or the dependent to the District Legal Service Authority, the Authority will examine the case and verify the contents of the claim”. The Authority will award compensation within two months.
Member of District Legal Service Authority (East Khasi Hills) Senior Advocate VGK Kynta said that though at least  three times the members met, they are yet to decide any case.
He admitted that that there was delay on finalizing the matter due to the transfer of the district and sessions Judge who is the head of the District Legal Service Authority.
“We are going all out now to meet and finalise the beneficiaries of the scheme”, he added.
He also said that there is a need to create awareness among the people so that the victims can come forward to claim the compensation.
According to the scheme, the State Government will allot a separate budget every year to be paid to the victims and the fund will be operated by the member secretary, Meghalaya State Legal Services Authority.
“The victim shall be eligible for the grant of compensation even if the offender is not traced or identified, but the victim is identified, and where no trial takes place,” as per the scheme.
The scheme gives  powers to the District Legal Service Authority to order for immediate first aid facility, medical benefit or interim relief to be made available free of cost based on the certificate of the police officer not below the rank of the officer in charge of the police station or magistrate of the area concerned


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