Authorities Shall Guarantee Relief for Victims of Crimes Immediately: Says Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court had issued direction to the Governments of State and Union Territories to enforce the scheme which is formulated for giving compensation to the persons and families of the persons who are murdered. The victims and their families can avail the help given by the Government which will enable them to start a new life. The authorities are liable to disburse compensation according to Section 357 A as provided under the Criminal Procedure Code which empowers the Court to pass orders to assist the victims of crime and to rehabilitate them. The case was considered by a bench consisting of Justice V Gopala Gowda and Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel. The Court highlighted that the scheme was introduced for the benefit of the victims and such legal provision will not be allowed to aggravate due to lack of knowledge and unresponsiveness of the Court or the Governments.

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No measures are implemented after five years of framing the scheme and the inclusion of Section 357 A by the Court, the bench observed. An obligation vests on the Court to take cognizance of the crimes and to determine the evidence to reach a conclusion whether the victim is recognized and whether to give urgent financial assistance to the victim. When such situation arises, the Courts should issue direction to the authorities to compensate the victim as an interim relief. Before providing the compensation, the Government shall consider the seriousness of crime and the essentials of the victim.

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According to the information given by L N Rao, Additional Solicitor General, 25 States have already publicized the scheme for victim compensation. Therefore, the Court ordered other five States to implement the scheme immediately. But the Court felt sorry that the compensation notified by some of the States is very low and that needs to be brought up to serve the purpose. Presently, State of Kerala is providing adequate compensation according to the Kerala Victim Compensation Scheme that extends from one lakh up to five lakhs depending on the nature of crime.