Victim compensation scheme

Application filed for Victim Compensation Scheme cannot be rejected due to technical limitation- ordered Punjab & Haryana HC in a gang rape case.


The judgment in  X v. State of Punjab & Ors (CWP-8771-2016 (O&M))pertains to a writ petition seeking compensation for a gang rape victim under the Punjab Victim or their Dependents Compensation Scheme, 2011. The petitioner argued that despite the conviction of the accused persons, compensation under Section 357-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure was not awarded.

Facts of the Case:

The petitioner was a victim of gang rape in 2010. The accused individuals were convicted in 2014, and she sought compensation as a victim under relevant provisions.

Contention of the Petitioner:

The petitioner sought directions for compensation in line with the Notification dated 15.10.2013, as the accused were convicted but no compensation was awarded at the time of judgment. She stated that she has not received any compensation despite the conviction of the accused individuals through the utilization of authority outlined in Section 357-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Response of the Respondent:

The State contended that the Petitioner’s application for compensation was declined due to a delay of six months and the absence of a recommendation from the trial court.

Court’s Observation:

The Court observed that surprisingly, the State takes a defence that the compensation could not be awarded for want of recommendation by the trial Court and has declined to discharge its obligation merely because the application in question was moved after a delay of 6 months from the date of occurrence.

The Court also observed that ““There may very well be a possibility that the victim was awaiting award of compensation under Section 357-A Cr.P.C. by the trial Court and the occasion to approach this Court arose only after no such compensation was awarded by the trial Court at the stage of convicting the private respondents/accused persons.”

The High Court cleared that “technical objections like limitation in filing the application for victim compensation should not stand in a way of the social welfare object sought to be served by the Victim Compensation Scheme.”

The Court noted that the State’s defence relied on a technical objection regarding the delay in submitting the compensation application. It remarked that the victim might have awaited compensation from the trial court, and the delay could be justified.

“The scheme being benevolent and intended to rehabilitate and compensate a victim of atrocity, such technical objection as regards the claim having been submitted delayed in point of time should not stand in the way of the social welfare object sought to be served by the said scheme.”

Court’s Decision:

The Punjab & Haryana high court allowed the plea, emphasizing that technical objections such as the time delay should not hinder the social welfare objective of the Victim Compensation Scheme. It directed the release of compensation under the Punjab Victim or their Dependents Compensation Scheme, 2011, within six weeks.

-By Adv. Deeksha Rai

Comments are closed.