The Apex Court today expressed anger as none of the states and Union Territories, except Sikkim, filed affidavits specifying the sum they received by under the Nirbhaya Fund towards victim compensation and details of how much of that total has been paid out to victims of sexual violation.
“We had made a specific order on January 9. Are the states not interested in paying compensation? If you don’t file an affidavit.. if you can’t then that is the presumption.. that you are not concerned in the safety and security of women”, the bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur said.
The bench also comprises of Justice Deepak Gupta.
The bench, hearing the PIL pertaining to the issue filed by Nipun Saxena, gave the states four more weeks to file the affidavits.
“We direct all the State Governments and Union Territories that are respondents in these petitions to file an affidavit within a period of four weeks from today indicating the amount received by each State Government and Union Territory under the Nirbhaya Fund towards victim compensation, how much of that amount has been disbursed from the Nirbhaya Fund and even otherwise and to the number of victims of sexual assault. For this limited aim of assuring that the affidavits are filed by the States/Union Territories, list the matters on 15th February 2018”, the bench had said in its January 9, 2018 order.
Surinder S Rathi, Director, NALSA had stated that the finalization of the “Chapter” or the “Sub-Scheme” within the existing Victim Compensation Scheme for victims of sexual assault will take another four weeks or so.
Rathi had said that the issue of centralized disbursements, as well as re-appropriation of funds available to the State Legal Services Authority, will likewise be discussed in the meeting, which is to be applied by the NALSA with the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India in terms of our earlier orders.
Report By: Tushar Solanki, Co-Convener, INBA