Mumbai: In a significant ruling, the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court refused to enhance the amount of compensation granted to a rape victim under the Manodhairya scheme.
A bench of Justices Tanaji Nalawade and Mukund Sewlikar said if one such rape case is opened then hundreds of other old cases will have to be re-opened. The judges were moved by a survivor, who was allegedly raped in June 2016, when she was a minor. Subsequently, she had filed an application before the district collector, who was earlier empowered under the scheme to grant compensation, and sought monetary help.
Her plea, the survivor claimed, was kept pending for several months altogether for no funds. However, she was later given a compensation of Rs two lakh.
Before the judges, the survivor argued that after she was given the compensation, the government amended the scheme and now there is a provision to give Rs 10 lakh to the rape victim. Accordingly, the survivor demanded Rs three lakh more. She contended that she was depending entirely on her mother and brother, but they are not in a position to earn livelihood.
Having heard the contentions, the bench noted that the Manodhairya scheme was introduced in 2013 and the survivor was subjected to rape in 2016.
"This Court has gone through the record and the committee has considered all the aspects of the matter and under old scheme the amount of Rs two lakh is sanctioned. The submissions that new scheme ought to have been used cannot be accepted as in that case, every previous matter will have to be reopened for consideration," Justice Nalawade said in his orders.
"The amount is generally increased after few years due to change in circumstances like increase of cost of living index. Thus, this court holds that the committee has not committed any error in giving beneft to the victim under the old scheme," the judges said while dismissing her plea.