Question 1: Why the Victim Compensation Scheme?
Answer 1: The U.N. Declaration recognised four major components of the rights of victims of crime
1. Access to justice and fair treatment;
The Declaration was implemented by introducing Sec. 357-A in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. Every Victim of Crime undergoes immense physical, emotional and mental trauma apart from economic losses. State as a custodian of all Fundamental Constitutional Rights is not only legally but also morally & socially bound to come to the rescue of Victims and provide them all help and succor so that they can overcome their trauma, both emotionally as well as financially. The nature and extent of victimization have to be adequately understood considering the social and stark financial disparity amongst our Citizens. The rights and re-habitational needs of each victim have to be minutely gauged, recognized and redressed.
Question 2: To whom does victim compensation apply?
Answer 2: It shall apply to the victims and their dependent(s) who have suffered loss, injury, as the case may be, as a result of the offence committed and who require rehabilitation.
Question 3: Who is a dependent under the Victim Compensation Scheme?
Answer 3: “Dependent” includes wife, husband, father, mother, grandparents, unmarried daughter and minor children of the victim as determined by the Delhi State Legal Services Authority or District Legal Services Authority on the basis of report of Sub-Divisional Magistrate of the concerned area/Station House Officer/Investigating Officer or on the basis of material placed on record by the dependents by way of affidavit or on its own enquiry.
Question 4: What is an offence to qualify for Victim Compensation Scheme?
Answer 4: “Offence” means any of the offences mentioned in the Indian Penal Code, 1860 or in any other law for the time being in force;
Question 5: Who is a victim under the scheme?
Answer 5: “Victim” means a person who has suffered loss or injury as a result of the offence and in the case of his death, the expression ‘victim’ shall mean to include his or her guardian or legal heir;
Question 6: What is Victim Compensation Fund?
Answer 6: There shall be a Fund, namely, the Victims Compensation Fund from which the amount of compensation, as decided by the Delhi State Legal Services Authority or District Legal Services Authority, shall be paid to the victims or their dependent(s) who have suffered loss or injury as a result of an offence and who require rehabilitation. The ‘Victims Compensation Fund’ shall comprise the following:-
(a) Budgetary allocation in the shape of Grants-in-aid to DSLSA for which necessary provision shall be made in the Annual Budget by the Government;
(b) Receipt of amount of fines imposed (under section 357 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) and ordered to be deposited by the courts in the Victims Compensation Fund. Delhi Victims Compensation Scheme, 2015 3
(c) Amount of compensation recovered from the wrongdoer/accused under clause 14 of the Scheme;
(d) Amount of compensation returned by the person receiving the compensation as per Form ‘II’ if any;
(e) Donations/ contributions from International/National/Philanthropist/Charitable Institutions/ Organizations and individuals. (3) The said Fund shall be operated by the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) 5.
The said Fund shall be operated by the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA)
Question 7: What is the eligibility for Victim Compensation?
Answer 7: The victim or his/her dependent(s), as the case may be, shall be eligible for the grant of compensation after satisfying the criteria that he/she should not have been compensated for the loss or injury under any other scheme of the Central Government or the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi. Provided that an affidavit of victim or his/her dependent(s), as the case may be, shall be sufficient unless the State or District Legal Services Authority, as the case may be, directs otherwise for the reasons to be recorded.
Question 8: How to apply for victim compensation scheme?
Answer 8: An application for the award of interim/ final compensation can be filed by the Victims and/or their Dependents or the SHO of the area and it shall be submitted in Form ‘I’ along with a copy of:
- the First Information Report (FIR),
- the medical report,
- the death certificate, if available,
- the copy of judgment/ recommendation of court if the trial is over,
to the State or District Legal Services Authority. The application/recommendation for compensation can be moved either before the Delhi State Legal Services Authority or the concerned District Legal Services Authority. The Secretary of the respective DLSA shall decide the application/ recommendation moved before him/her as per Scheme.
Question 9: What factors to be considered while awarding the compensation?
Answer 9: While deciding a matter, the Delhi State Legal Services Authority/District Legal Services Authority may take into consideration following factors relating to the loss or injury suffered by the victim:
(1) Gravity of the offence and severity of mental or physical harm or injury suffered by the victim;
(2) Expenditure incurred or likely to be incurred on the medical treatment for physical and/or mental health of the victim, funeral, travelling during investigation/ inquiry/ trial(other than diet money);
(3) Loss of educational opportunity as a consequence of the offence, including absence from school/college due to mental trauma, bodily injury, medical treatment, investigation and trial of the offence, or any other reason;
(4) Loss of employment as a result of the offence, including absence from place of employment due to mental trauma, bodily injury, medical treatment, investigation and trial of the offence, or any other reason;
(5) The relationship of the victim to the offender, if any;
(6) Whether the abuse was a single isolated incidence or whether the abuse took place over a period of time;
(7) Whether victim became pregnant as a result of the offence;
(8) Whether the victim contracted a sexually transmitted disease (STD) as a result of the offence;
(9) Whether the victim contracted human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as a result of the offence;
(10) Any disability suffered by the victim as a result of the offence;
(11) The financial condition of the victim against whom the offence has been committed so as to determine his/her need for rehabilitation.
(12) In the case of death, the age of deceased, his monthly income, the number of dependents, life expectancy, future promotional/growth prospects etc.
(13) Or any other factor which the DSLSA/DLSA may consider just and sufficient.
Question 10: What is the time period for deciding the victim compensation?
Answer 10: The inquiry as contemplated under sub-section(5) of section 357A of the Code, shall be completed expeditiously and the period in no case shall exceed beyond sixty days from the receipt of the claim/petition or recommendation. Provided that in cases of acid attack an amount of Rs. One lakh shall be paid to the victim within 15 days of the matter being brought to the notice of DSLSA/ DLSA. The order granting interim compensation shall be passed by the DSLSA/DLSA within 7 days of the matter being brought to its notice and the DSLSA shall pay the compensation within 8 days of the passing of order. Thereafter, an amount of Rs. 2 lakhs shall be paid to the victim as expeditiously as possible and positively within two months of the first payment: Provided further that the victim may also be paid such further amount as is admissible under this Scheme.
Question 11: What is the method of disbursement of compensation?
Answer 11: The amount of compensation so awarded shall be disbursed by the district legal service authority by depositing the same in a nationalized bank or if the branch of a nationalized bank is not in existence, it shall be deposited in the branch of a scheduled commercial bank, in the joint or single name of the victim/dependent(s). Out of the amount so deposited, 75% (seventy-five percent) of the same shall be put in a fixed deposit for a minimum period of three years and the remaining 25% (twenty five percent) shall be available for utilization and initial expenses by the victim/dependent(s), as the case may be. Delhi victims compensation scheme, 2015 in the case of a minor, 80% of the amount of compensation so awarded, shall be deposited in the fixed deposit account and shall be drawn only on attainment of the age of majority, but not before three years of the deposit: provided that in exceptional cases, amounts may be withdrawn for educational or medical or other pressing and urgent needs of the beneficiary at the discretion of the dslsa/ dlsa. The interest on the sum, if lying in fdr form, shall be credited directly by the bank in the savings account of the victim/dependent(s), on a monthly basis which can be withdrawn by the beneficiary.
Question 12: What is interim compensation?
Answer 12: The Delhi State Legal Services Authority or District Legal Services Authority, as the case may be, may order for immediate first aid facility or medical benefits to be made available free of cost or any other interim relief (including interim monetary compensation) as deemed appropriate, to alleviate the suffering of the victim on the certificate of a police officer, not below the rank of the officer-in-charge of the police station, or a Magistrate of the area concerned or on the application of the victim/ dependents or suo moto: Provided that the, interim relief so granted shall not be more than Rs. 50,000/- (Rupees Fifty thousand) in any case except in cases of extreme hardship and gravity of the offence where an order may be passed for the reasons to be recorded in writing. Provided further that in cases of acid attack a sum of Rs. One lakh shall be paid to the victim within 15 days of the matter being brought to the notice of DSLSA/DLSA. The order granting interim compensation shall be passed by the DSLSA/DLSA within 7 days of the matter being brought its notice and the DSLSA shall pay the compensation within 8 days of the passing of order. Thereafter an additional sum of Rs.2 lakhs shall be awarded and paid to the victim as expeditiously as possible and positively within two months.
Question 13: Who can issue dependency certificate?
Answer 13: The authority empowered to issue the dependency certificate shall issue the same within a period of fifteen days and, in no case, this period shall be extended: Provided that the DSLSA/DLSA, in case of non-issuance of Dependency Certificate, after expiry of 15 days, may proceed on the basis of an affidavit to be obtained from the claimant.
Question 14: What is the limitation period for applying under the scheme?
Answer 14: Under the Scheme, no claim made by the victim or his/her dependent(s), under sub-section (4) of section 357A of the Code, shall be entertained after a period of 3 years from the date of occurrence of the offence or conclusion of the trial.
Schedule of Compensation
Image Source: http://images.newindianexpress.com/uploads/user/imagelibrary/2017/3/30/original/Prison4.jpg