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Ganga Rape of a woman – Reliefs to victim granted by Apex court – who loved other cast man , by the order of cast panchayat elders – Apex court taken suomoto case and order for investigation and obtained report and Apex court held that we are of the view that the victim should be given a compensation of at least Rs. 5 lakhs for rehabilitation by the State. We, accordingly, direct the Respondent No. 1 (State of West Bengal through Chief Secretary) to make a payment of Rs. 5 lakhs, in addition to the already sanctioned amount of Rs. 50,000, within one month from today and that Directed to registration of FIR is mandatory under Section 154 of the Code, if the information discloses commission of a cognizable offence and the Police officers are duty bound to register the same. and directed that Likewise, all hospitals, public or private, whether run by the Central Government, the State Government, local bodies or any other person, are statutorily obligated under Section 357C to provide the first-aid or medical treatment, free of cost, to the victims of any offence covered under Sections 326A, 376, 376A, 376B, 376C, 376D or Section 376E of the IPC.=1 SUO MOTU WRIT PETITION (CRIMINAL) NO. 24 OF 2014 In Re: Indian Woman says gang-raped on orders of Village Court published in Business & Financial News dated 23.01.2014= 2014 (March . Part) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41349

Ganga Rape of a woman – Reliefs to victim granted by Apex court – who loved other cast man , by the order of cast panchayat elders – Apex court taken suomoto case and order for investigation and obtained report and Apex court held that  we  are  of  the  view that the victim should be given a compensation of at least Rs. 5  lakhs  for rehabilitation by the State. We, accordingly, direct the  Respondent  No.  1 (State of West Bengal through Chief Secretary) to make a payment  of  Rs.  5 lakhs, in addition to the already sanctioned amount of  Rs.  50,000,  within one month from today and that Directed to registration of FIR is mandatory under Section  154  of  the  Code,  if  the information discloses commission of a  cognizable  offence  and  the  Police officers are duty bound to register the same. and directed that Likewise, all  hospitals,  public  or  private,  whether  run  by  the Central Government, the State Government, local bodies or any other  person, are statutorily obligated under Section 357C to  provide  the  first-aid  or medical treatment, free of cost, to  the  victims  of  any  offence  covered under Sections 326A, 376, 376A, 376B, 376C, 376D  or  Section  376E  of  the IPC.=

 

 

 This Court, based on the news  item  published  in  the  Business  and

Financial News dated 23.01.2014 relating to the gang-rape of a 20  year  old

woman of Subalpur Village, P.S. Labpur,  District  Birbhum,  State  of  West

Bengal on the intervening night of 20/21.01.2014 on the orders of  community

panchayat as punishment for having relationship with a man from a  different

community, by order dated 24.01.2014, took suo motu action and directed  the

District Judge, Birbhum District,  West  Bengal  to  inspect  the  place  of

occurrence and submit a report to this Court within a  period  of  one  week

from that date.=    

 

 

  “GOVERNMENT OF WEST BENGAL

 

                               HOME DEPARTMENT

 

                    Report on the Rehabilitation Measures

 

      Reference: Suo Motu Writ Petition No. 24 of 2014

 

      Subject: PS Labpur, District Birbhum, West  Bengal  Case  No.  14/2014

      dated 22.01.2014 under section 376D/341/506 IPC.

 

           In compliance with the order passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court

      during the hearing of the aforesaid  case  on  4th  March,  2014,  the

      undersigned has reviewed the progress of rehabilitation measures taken

      by the State Government agencies.   The  progress  in  the  matter  is

      placed hereunder for kind perusal.

 

        1. A Government Order has been  issued  sanctioning  an  amount  of

           Rs.50,000/- to the victim under the Victim  Compensation  Scheme

           of the State Government.  It is assured that the amount will  be

           drawn and disbursed to the victim within a week.

 

        2. Adequate legal aid has been provided to the victim.

 

        3. ‘Patta’ in respect of allotment of a plot of  land  under  ‘Nijo

           Griha Nijo Bhumi Scheme’ of the State Government has been issued

           in favour of the mother of the victim.

 

        4. Construction of residential house out  of  the  fund  under  the

           scheme ‘Amar Thikana’ in favour of the mother of victim has been

           completed.

 

        5. Widow pension for the months of  January,  February  and  March,

           2014 has been disbursed to the mother of the victim.

 

        6. Installation of a tube well near the residential  house  of  the

           mother of the victim has been completed.

 

        7. Construction  of  sanitary  latrine  under  TSC  Fund  has  been

           completed.

 

        8. The victim has been enrolled under the  Social  Security  Scheme

           for Construction Worker.

 

        9. Antyodaya Anna Yojna Card has  been  issued  in  favour  of  the

           victim and her mother.

 

       10. Relief and Government relief articles have been provided to  the

           victim and her family.

 

        The State Government has taken all possible  administrative  action

        to provide necessary assistance to the victim which would help  her

        in rehabilitation and reintegration.

 

                                                              (Sanjay Mitra)

                                                            Chief Secretary”

 

23)   The report of the Chief Secretary indicates the  steps  taken  by  the

State  Government  including   the   compensation   awarded.   Nevertheless,

considering the facts and circumstances of this case, we  are  of  the  view

that the victim should be given a compensation of at least Rs. 5  lakhs  for

rehabilitation by the State. We, accordingly, direct the  Respondent  No.  1

(State of West Bengal through Chief Secretary) to make a payment  of  Rs.  5

lakhs, in addition to the already sanctioned amount of  Rs.  50,000,  within

one month from today.  Besides, we also have some reservation regarding  the

benefits being given in the name of mother of the victim,  when  the  victim

herself is a major (i.e. aged about  20  years).  Thus,  in  our  considered

view,  it  would  be  appropriate  and  beneficial  to  the  victim  if  the

compensation and other benefits are directly given to  her  and  accordingly

we order so.

 

24) Further, we also wish to clarify that according  to  Section  357B,  the

compensation payable by the State Government under Section 357A shall be  in

addition to the payment of fine to the victim under Section 326A or  Section

376D of the IPC.

 

25)   Also, no details  have  been  given  as  to  the  measures  taken  for

security and safety of the victim and her family.  Merely providing  interim

measure for their stay may protect them for the time  being  but  long  term

rehabilitation is needed as they are all material witnesses  and  likely  to

be socially ostracized. Consequently, we direct the Circle  Officer  of  the

area to inspect the victim’s place on day-to-day basis.

 

 

 

Conclusion:

 

26)   The crimes, as noted above, are not only in contravention of  domestic

laws,  but  are  also  a  direct  breach  of  the  obligations   under   the

International law. India has ratified various international conventions  and

treaties,  which  oblige  the  protection  of  women  from   any   kind   of

discrimination. However, women of  all  classes  are  still  suffering  from

discrimination even in this contemporary society. It will be wrong to  blame

only on the attitude of the people. Such crimes can certainly  be  prevented

if the state police  machinery  work  in  a  more  organized  and  dedicated

manner. Thus, we implore upon the State machinery to work  in  harmony  with

each other to safeguard the rights of women in our country. As per  the  law

enunciated in Lalita Kumari vs. Govt. of U.P &  Ors  2013  (13)  SCALE  559,

registration of FIR is mandatory under Section  154  of  the  Code,  if  the

information discloses commission of a  cognizable  offence  and  the  Police

officers are duty bound to register the same.

 

27)   Likewise, all  hospitals,  public  or  private,  whether  run  by  the

Central Government, the State Government, local bodies or any other  person,

are statutorily obligated under Section 357C to  provide  the  first-aid  or

medical treatment, free of cost, to  the  victims  of  any  offence  covered

under Sections 326A, 376, 376A, 376B, 376C, 376D  or  Section  376E  of  the

IPC.

 

28)   We appreciate the able assistance rendered  by  Mr.  Sidharth  Luthra,

learned ASG, who is appointed as amicus curiae to  represent  the  cause  of

the victim in the present case.

 

29)   With the above directions, we dispose of the suo motu petition.

 

2014 (March . Part) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41349

P SATHASIVAM, S.A. BOBDE, N.V. RAMANA

REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CRIMINAL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION
1 SUO MOTU WRIT PETITION (CRIMINAL) NO. 24 OF 2014

 

In Re: Indian Woman says gang-raped on orders of Village Court published in
Business & Financial News dated 23.01.2014

 

 
J U D G M E N T
P.Sathasivam, CJI.

1) This Court, based on the news item published in the Business and
Financial News dated 23.01.2014 relating to the gang-rape of a 20 year old
woman of Subalpur Village, P.S. Labpur, District Birbhum, State of West
Bengal on the intervening night of 20/21.01.2014 on the orders of community
panchayat as punishment for having relationship with a man from a different
community, by order dated 24.01.2014, took suo motu action and directed the
District Judge, Birbhum District, West Bengal to inspect the place of
occurrence and submit a report to this Court within a period of one week
from that date.

2) Pursuant to the direction dated 24.01.2014, the District Judge,
Birbhum District, West Bengal along with the Chief Judicial Magistrate
inspected the place in question and submitted a Report to this Court.
However, this Court, on 31.01.2014, after noticing that there was no
information in the Report as to the steps taken by the police against the
persons concerned, directed the Chief Secretary, West Bengal to submit a
detailed report in this regard within a period of two weeks. On the same
day, Mr. Sidharth Luthra, learned Additional Solicitor General was
requested to assist the Court as amicus in the matter.

3) Pursuant to the aforesaid direction, the Chief Secretary submitted a
detailed report dated 10.02.2014 and the copies of the same were provided
to the parties. On 14.02.2014, this Court directed the State to place on
record the First Information Report (FIR), Case Diaries, Result of the
investigation/Police Report under Section 173 of the Code of Criminal
Procedure, 1973 (in short ‘the Code’), statements recorded under Section
161 of the Code, Forensic Opinion, Report of vaginal swab/other medical
tests etc., conducted on the victim on the next date of hearing.

4) After having gathered all the requisite material, on 13.03.2014, we
heard learned amicus as well as Mr. Anip Sachthey, learned counsel for the
State of West Bengal extensively and reserved the matter.

Discussion:

5) Mr. Sidharth Luthra, learned amicus having perused and scrutinized
all the materials on record in his submissions had highlighted three
aspects viz. (i) issues concerning the investigation; (ii) prevention of
recurring of such crimes; and (iii) Victim compensation; and invited this
Court to consider the same.

Issues concerning the investigation:

6) Certain relevant issues pertaining to investigation were raised by
learned amicus. Primarily, Mr. Luthra stated that although the FIR has been
scribed by one Anirban Mondal, a resident of Labpur, Birbhum District, West
Bengal, there is no basis as to how Anirban Mondal came to the Police
Station and there is also no justification for his presence there. Further,
he stressed on the point that Section 154 of the Code requires such FIR to
be recorded by a woman police officer or a woman officer and, in addition,
as per the latest amendment dated 03.02.2013, a woman officer should record
the statements under Section 161 of the Code. While highlighting the
relevant provisions, he also submitted that there was no occasion for
Deputy Superintendent of Police to re-record the statements on 26.01.2014,
27.01.2014 and 29.01.2014 and that too in gist which would lead to possible
contradictions being derived during cross-examinations. He also drew our
attention to the statement of the victim under Section 164 of the Code. He
pointed out that mobile details have not been obtained. He also brought to
our notice that if the Salishi (meeting) is relatable to a village, then
the presence of persons of neighbouring villages i.e., Bikramur and
Rajarampur is not explained. Moreover, he submitted that there is variance
in the version of the FIR and the Report of the Judicial Officer as to the
holding of the meeting (Salishi) on the point whether it was held in the
night of 20.01.2014 as per the FIR or the next morning as per the Judicial
Officer’s report, which is one of the pertinent issues to be looked into.
He also submitted that the offence of extortion under Section 385 of the
Indian Penal Code, 1860 (in short ‘the IPC’) and related offences have not
been invoked. Similarly, offence of criminal intimidation under Section
506 IPC and grievous hurt under Section 325 IPC have not been invoked.
Furthermore, Sections 354A and 354B ought to have been considered by the
investigating agency. He further pointed out the discrepancy in the name of
accused Ram Soren mentioned in the FIR and in the Report of the Judicial
Officer which refers to Bhayek Soren which needs to be explained. He also
submitted that the electronic documents (e-mail) need to be duly certified
under Section 65A of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. Finally, he pointed
out that the aspect as to whether there was a larger conspiracy must also
be seen.

7) Mr. Anip Sachthey, learned counsel for the State assured this Court
that the deficiency, if any, in the investigation, as suggested by learned
amicus, would be looked into and rectified. The above statement is hereby
recorded.

Prevention of recurring of such crimes:

8) Violence against women is a recurring crime across the globe and
India is no exception in this regard. The case at hand is the epitome of
aggression against a woman and it is shocking that even with rapid
modernization such crime persists in our society. Keeping in view this
dreadful increase in crime against women, the Code of Criminal Procedure
has been specifically amended by recent amendment dated 03.02.2013 in order
to advance the safeguards for women in such circumstances which are as
under:-

“154. Information in cognizable cases.—

(1) x x x

Provided that if the information is given by the woman against whom an
offence under Section 326A, Section 326B, Section 354, Section 354A,
Section 354B, Section 354C, Section 354D, Section 376, Section 376A,
Section 376B, Section 376C, Section 376D, Section 376E, or Section 509
of the Indian Penal Code is alleged to have been committed or
attempted, then such information shall be recorded, by a woman police
officer or any woman officer:

Provided further that:–

(a) in the event that the person against whom an offence under Section
354, Section 354A, Section 354B, Section 354C, Section 354D, Section
376, Section 376A, Section 376B, Section 376C, Section 376D, Section
376E, or Section 509 of the Indian Penal Code is alleged to have been
committed or attempted, is temporarily or permanently mentally or
physically disabled, then such information shall be recorded by a
police officer, at the residence of the person seeking to report such
offence or at a convenient place of such person’s choice, in the
presence of an interpreter or a special educator, as the case may be;

(2) x x x

(3) x x x”

“161.—Examination of witnesses by police:-

(1) x x x

(2) x x x

(3) x x x

Provided further that the statement of a woman against whom an offence
under Section 354, Section 354A, Section 354B, Section 354C, Section
354D, Section 376, Section 376A, Section 376B, Section 376C, Section
376D, Section 376E, or Section 509 of the Indian Penal Code is alleged
to have been committed or attempted shall be recorded, by a woman
police officer or any woman officer.”

“164.—Recording of confessions and statements.—

5A In cases punishable under Section 354, Section 354A, Section 354B,
Section 354C, Section 354D, sub-Section (1) or sub-Section (2) of
Section 376, Section 376A, Section 376B, Section 376C, Section 376D,
Section 376E, or Section 509 of the Indian Penal Code, the Judicial
Magistrate shall record the statement of the person against whom such
offence has been committed in the manner prescribed in sub-Section
(5), as soon as the commission of the offence is brought to the notice
of the police:”

 

“164 A. Medical examination of the victim of rape.- (1) Where, during
the stage when an offence of committing rape or attempt to commit rape
is under investigation, it is proposed to get the person of the woman
with whom rape is alleged or attempted to have been committed or
attempted, examined by a medical expert, such examination shall be
conducted by a registered medical practitioner employed in a hospital
run by the Government or a local authority and in the absence of such
a practitioner, by any other registered medical practitioner, with the
consent of such woman or of a person competent to give such consent on
her behalf and such woman shall be sent to such registered medical
practitioner within twenty-four hours from the time of receiving the
information relating to the commission of such offence.

(2) The registered medical practitioner, to whom such woman is sent
shall, without delay, examine her person and prepare a report of his
examination giving the following particulars, namely:–
(i) the name and address of the woman and of the person by whom she
was brought;
(ii) the age of the woman;
(iii) the description of material taken from the person of the woman
for DNA profiling;
(iv) marks of injury, if any, on the person of the woman; (v) general
mental condition of the woman; and (vi) other material particulars in
reasonable detail,
(3) The report shall state precisely the reasons for each conclusion
arrived at.
(4) The report shall specifically record that the consent of the woman
or of the person competent, to give such consent on her behalf to such
examination had been obtained.
(5) The exact time of commencement and completion of the examination
shall also be noted in the report.
(6) The registered medical practitioner shall, without delay forward
the report to the investigating officer who shall forward it to the
Magistrate referred to in section 173 as part of the documents
referred to in clause (a) of sub-section (5) of that section.
(7) Nothing in this section shall be construed as rendering lawful any
examination without the consent of the woman or of any person
competent to give such consent on her behalf.
Explanation–For the purposes of this section, “examination” and
“registered medical practitioner” shall have the same meanings as in
section 53.”

9) The courts and the police officialss are required to be vigilant in
upholding these rights of the victims of crime as the effective
implementation of these provisions lies in their hands. In fact, the
recurrence of such crimes has been taken note of by this Court in few
instances and seriously condemned in the ensuing manner.

10) In Lata Singh vs. State of U.P. and Ors., (2006) 5 SCC 475, this
Court, in paras 17 and 18, held as under:
“17. The caste system is a curse on the nation and the sooner it is
destroyed the better. In fact, it is dividing the nation at a time
when we have to be united to face the challenges before the nation
unitedly. Hence, inter-caste marriages are in fact in the national
interest as they will result in destroying the caste system. However,
disturbing news are coming from several parts of the country that
young men and women who undergo inter-caste marriage, are threatened
with violence, or violence is actually committed on them. In our
opinion, such acts of violence or threats or harassment are wholly
illegal and those who commit them must be severely punished. This is a
free and democratic country, and once a person becomes a major he or
she can marry whosoever he/she likes. If the parents of the boy or
girl do not approve of such inter-caste or inter-religious marriage
the maximum they can do is that they can cut-off social relations with
the son or the daughter, but they cannot give threats or commit or
instigate acts of violence and cannot harass the person who undergoes
such inter-caste or inter-religious marriage. We, therefore, direct
that the administration/police authorities throughout the country will
see to it that if any boy or girl who is a major undergoes inter-caste
or inter-religious marriage with a woman or man who is a major, the
couple is not harassed by anyone nor subjected to threats or acts of
violence, and anyone who gives such threats or harasses or commits
acts of violence either himself or at his instigation, is taken to
task by instituting criminal proceedings by the police against such
persons and further stern action is taken against such persons as
provided by law.
18. We sometimes hear of “honour” killings of such persons who undergo
inter-caste or inter-religious marriage of their own free will. There
is nothing honourable in such killings, and in fact they are nothing
but barbaric and shameful acts of murder committed by brutal, feudal-
minded persons who deserve harsh punishment. Only in this way can we
stamp out such acts of barbarism.”

11) In Arumugam Servai vs. State of Tamilnadu, (2011) 6 SCC 405, this
Court, in paras 12 and 13, observed as under:-

“12. We have in recent years heard of “Khap Panchayats” (known as
“Katta Panchayats” in Tamil Nadu) which often decree or encourage
honour killings or other atrocities in an institutionalised way on
boys and girls of different castes and religion, who wish to get
married or have been married, or interfere with the personal lives of
people. We are of the opinion that this is wholly illegal and has to
be ruthlessly stamped out. As already stated in Lata Singh case, there
is nothing honourable in honour killing or other atrocities and, in
fact, it is nothing but barbaric and shameful murder. Other atrocities
in respect of personal lives of people committed by brutal, feudal-
minded persons deserve harsh punishment. Only in this way can we stamp
out such acts of barbarism and feudal mentality. Moreover, these acts
take the law into their own hands, and amount to kangaroo courts,
which are wholly illegal.
13. Hence, we direct the administrative and police officials to take
strong measures to prevent such atrocious acts. If any such incidents
happen, apart from instituting criminal proceedings against those
responsible for such atrocities, the State Government is directed to
immediately suspend the District Magistrate/Collector and SSP/SPs of
the district as well as other officials concerned and charge-sheet
them and proceed against them departmentally if they do not (1)
prevent the incident if it has not already occurred but they have
knowledge of it in advance, or (2) if it has occurred, they do not
promptly apprehend the culprits and others involved and institute
criminal proceedings against them, as in our opinion they will be
deemed to be directly or indirectly accountable in this connection.”

12) Likewise, the Law Commission of India, in its 242nd Report on
Prevention of Interference with the Freedom of Matrimonial Alliances (in
the name of Honour and Tradition) had suggested that:
“11.1 In order to keep a check on the high-handed and unwarranted
interference by the caste assemblies or panchayats with sagotra, inter-
caste or inter-religious marriages, which are otherwise lawful, this
legislation has been proposed so as to prevent the acts endangering
the liberty of the couple married or intending to marry and their
family members. It is considered necessary that there should be a
threshold bar against the congregation or assembly for the purpose of
disapproving such marriage / intended marriage and the conduct of the
young couple. The members gathering for such purpose, i.e., for
condemning the marriage with a view to take necessary consequential
action, are to be treated as members of unlawful assembly for which a
mandatory minimum punishment has been prescribed.

11.2 So also the acts of endangerment of liberty including social
boycott, harassment, etc. of the couple or their family members are
treated as offences punishable with mandatory minimum sentence. The
acts of criminal intimidation by members of unlawful assembly or
others acting at their instance or otherwise are also made punishable
with mandatory minimum sentence.

11.3 A presumption that a person participating in an unlawful assembly
shall be presumed to have also intended to commit or abet the
commission of offences under the proposed Bill is provided for in
Section 6.

11.4 Power to prohibit the unlawful assemblies and to take preventive
measures are conferred on the Sub-Divisional / District Magistrate.
Further, a SDM/DM is enjoined to receive a request or information from
any person seeking protection from the assembly of persons or members
of any family who are likely to or who have been objecting to the
lawful marriage.

11.5 The provisions of this proposed Bill are without prejudice to the
provisions of Indian Penal Code. Care has been taken, as far as
possible, to see that there is no overlapping with the provisions of
the general penal law. In other words, the criminal acts other than
those specifically falling under the proposed Bill are punishable
under the general penal law.

11.6 The offence will be tried by a Court of Session in the district
and the offences are cognizable, non-bailable and non-compoundable.

11.7 Accordingly, the Prohibition of Interference with the Freedom of
Matrimonial Alliances Bill 20 has been prepared in order to
effectively check the existing social malady.”

13) It is further pertinent to mention that the issue relating to the
role of Khap Panchayats is pending before this Court in Shakti Vahini vs.
Union of India and Others in W.P. (C) No. 231 of 2010.

14) Ultimately, the question which ought to consider and assess by this
Court is whether the State Police Machinery could have possibly prevented
the said occurrence. The response is certainly a ‘yes’. The State is duty
bound to protect the Fundamental Rights of its citizens; and an inherent
aspect of Article 21 of the Constitution would be the freedom of choice in
marriage. Such offences are resultant of the States incapacity or
inability to protect the Fundamental Rights of its citizens.

15) In a report by the Commission of Inquiry, headed by a former Judge of
the Delhi High Court Justice Usha Mehra (Retd.), (at pg. 86), it was seen
(although in the context of the NCR) that police officers seldom visit
villages; it was suggested that a Police Officer must visit a village on
every alternate days to “instill a sense of security and confidence amongst
the citizens of the society and to check the depredations of criminal
elements.”

16) As a long-term measure to curb such crimes, a larger societal change
is required via education and awareness. Government will have to formulate
and implement policies in order to uplift the socio-economic condition of
women, sensitization of the Police and other concerned parties towards the
need for gender equality and it must be done with focus in areas where
statistically there is higher percentage of crimes against women.

Victim Compensation:

17) No compensation can be adequate nor can it be of any respite for the
victim but as the State has failed in protecting such serious violation of
a victim’s fundamental right, the State is duty bound to provide
compensation, which may help in the victim’s rehabilitation. The
humiliation or the reputation that is snuffed out cannot be recompensed but
then monetary compensation will at least provide some solace.

18) In 2009, a new Section 357A was introduced in the Code which casts a
responsibility on the State Governments to formulate Schemes for
compensation to the victims of crime in coordination with the Central
Government whereas, previously, Section 357 ruled the field which was not
mandatory in nature and only the offender can be directed to pay
compensation to the victim under this Section. Under the new Section 357A,
the onus is put on the District Legal Service Authority or State Legal
Service Authority to determine the quantum of compensation in each case.
However, no rigid formula can be evolved as to have a uniform amount, it
should vary in facts and circumstances of each case. In the case of State
of Rajasthan vs. Sanyam, Lodha, (2011) 13 SCC 262, this Court held that the
failure to grant uniform ex-gratia relief is not arbitrary or
unconstitutional. It was held that the quantum may depend on facts of each
case.

19) Learned amicus also advocated for awarding interim compensation to the
victim by relying upon judicial precedents. The concept of the payment of
interim compensation has been recognized by this Court in Bodhisattwa
Gautam vs. Miss Subhra Chakraborty, (1996) 1 SCC 490. It referred to Delhi
Domestic Working Women’s Forum vs. Union of India and others to reiterate
the centrality of compensation as a remedial measure in case of rape
victims. It was observed as under:-

“If the Court trying an offence of rape has jurisdiction to award the
compensation at the final stage, there is no reason to deny to the
Court the right to award interim compensation which should also be
provided in the Scheme.”

20) This Court, in P. Rathinam vs. State of Gujarat, (1994) SCC (Crl)
1163, which pertained to rape of a tribal woman in police custody awarded
an interim compensation of Rs. 50,000/- to be paid by the State Government.
Likewise, this Court, in Railway Board vs. Chandrima Das, (2000) 2 SCC 465,
upheld the High Court’s direction to pay Rs. 10 lacs as compensation to the
victim, who was a Bangladeshi National. Further, this Court in SLP (Crl.)
No. 5019/2012 titled as Satya Pal Anand vs. State of M.P., vide order dated
05.08.2013, enhanced the interim relief granted by the State Government
from Rs. 2 lacs to 10 lacs each to two girl victims.

21) The Supreme Court of Bangladesh in The State vs. Md. Moinul Haque and
Ors. (2001) 21 BLD 465 has interestingly observed that “victims of rape
should be compensated by giving them half of the property of the rapist(s)
as compensation in order to rehabilitate them in the society.” If not
adopting this liberal reasoning, we should at least be in a position to
provide substantial compensation to the victims.

22) Nevertheless, the obligation of the State does not extinguish on
payment of compensation, rehabilitation of victim is also of paramount
importance. The mental trauma that the victim suffers due to the
commission of such heinous crime, rehabilitation becomes a must in each and
every case. Mr. Anip Sachthey, learned counsel for the State submitted a
report by Mr. Sanjay Mitra, Chief Secretary, dated 11.03.2014 on the
rehabilitation measures rendered to the victim. The report is as follows:-
“GOVERNMENT OF WEST BENGAL

HOME DEPARTMENT

Report on the Rehabilitation Measures

Reference: Suo Motu Writ Petition No. 24 of 2014

Subject: PS Labpur, District Birbhum, West Bengal Case No. 14/2014
dated 22.01.2014 under section 376D/341/506 IPC.

In compliance with the order passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court
during the hearing of the aforesaid case on 4th March, 2014, the
undersigned has reviewed the progress of rehabilitation measures taken
by the State Government agencies. The progress in the matter is
placed hereunder for kind perusal.

1. A Government Order has been issued sanctioning an amount of
Rs.50,000/- to the victim under the Victim Compensation Scheme
of the State Government. It is assured that the amount will be
drawn and disbursed to the victim within a week.

2. Adequate legal aid has been provided to the victim.

3. ‘Patta’ in respect of allotment of a plot of land under ‘Nijo
Griha Nijo Bhumi Scheme’ of the State Government has been issued
in favour of the mother of the victim.

4. Construction of residential house out of the fund under the
scheme ‘Amar Thikana’ in favour of the mother of victim has been
completed.

5. Widow pension for the months of January, February and March,
2014 has been disbursed to the mother of the victim.

6. Installation of a tube well near the residential house of the
mother of the victim has been completed.

7. Construction of sanitary latrine under TSC Fund has been
completed.

8. The victim has been enrolled under the Social Security Scheme
for Construction Worker.

9. Antyodaya Anna Yojna Card has been issued in favour of the
victim and her mother.

10. Relief and Government relief articles have been provided to the
victim and her family.

The State Government has taken all possible administrative action
to provide necessary assistance to the victim which would help her
in rehabilitation and reintegration.

(Sanjay Mitra)
Chief Secretary”

23) The report of the Chief Secretary indicates the steps taken by the
State Government including the compensation awarded. Nevertheless,
considering the facts and circumstances of this case, we are of the view
that the victim should be given a compensation of at least Rs. 5 lakhs for
rehabilitation by the State. We, accordingly, direct the Respondent No. 1
(State of West Bengal through Chief Secretary) to make a payment of Rs. 5
lakhs, in addition to the already sanctioned amount of Rs. 50,000, within
one month from today. Besides, we also have some reservation regarding the
benefits being given in the name of mother of the victim, when the victim
herself is a major (i.e. aged about 20 years). Thus, in our considered
view, it would be appropriate and beneficial to the victim if the
compensation and other benefits are directly given to her and accordingly
we order so.

24) Further, we also wish to clarify that according to Section 357B, the
compensation payable by the State Government under Section 357A shall be in
addition to the payment of fine to the victim under Section 326A or Section
376D of the IPC.

25) Also, no details have been given as to the measures taken for
security and safety of the victim and her family. Merely providing interim
measure for their stay may protect them for the time being but long term
rehabilitation is needed as they are all material witnesses and likely to
be socially ostracized. Consequently, we direct the Circle Officer of the
area to inspect the victim’s place on day-to-day basis.

 

Conclusion:

26) The crimes, as noted above, are not only in contravention of domestic
laws, but are also a direct breach of the obligations under the
International law. India has ratified various international conventions and
treaties, which oblige the protection of women from any kind of
discrimination. However, women of all classes are still suffering from
discrimination even in this contemporary society. It will be wrong to blame
only on the attitude of the people. Such crimes can certainly be prevented
if the state police machinery work in a more organized and dedicated
manner. Thus, we implore upon the State machinery to work in harmony with
each other to safeguard the rights of women in our country. As per the law
enunciated in Lalita Kumari vs. Govt. of U.P & Ors 2013 (13) SCALE 559,
registration of FIR is mandatory under Section 154 of the Code, if the
information discloses commission of a cognizable offence and the Police
officers are duty bound to register the same.

27) Likewise, all hospitals, public or private, whether run by the
Central Government, the State Government, local bodies or any other person,
are statutorily obligated under Section 357C to provide the first-aid or
medical treatment, free of cost, to the victims of any offence covered
under Sections 326A, 376, 376A, 376B, 376C, 376D or Section 376E of the
IPC.

28) We appreciate the able assistance rendered by Mr. Sidharth Luthra,
learned ASG, who is appointed as amicus curiae to represent the cause of
the victim in the present case.

29) With the above directions, we dispose of the suo motu petition.

 
……….…………………………CJI.
(P. SATHASIVAM)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
………….…………………………J.
(SHARAD ARVIND BOBDE)

 

 

 

………….…………………………J.
(N.V. RAMANA)

 

NEW DELHI;
MARCH 28, 2014.
———————–
18

 

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