Rape victim’s post-crime trauma, state’s apathy ‘shock’ Delhi court
New DelhiThe post-crime trauma suffered by a teenaged rape victim and her family members and the state’s apathy to their plight has shocked a Delhi court, prompting it to order Rs one lakh as interim compensation to her.
Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau expressed shock after finding that the victim had tried to commit suicide by consuming acid, leading to replacement of her food pipe with an artificial one while her father suffered two heart attacks and her mother had to work as a maid to sustain the family with no state aid whatsoever.
“I’m shocked to observe that despite this pathetic state of the victim and her family, who, I find, are feeling a sense of physical and psychological isolation, no assistance has been provided to her by the state,” the judge observed, ordering Delhi Government to award her the compensation, noting the vegetative state the victim has reduced to.
“The victim, who was hardly 14 year old at the time of incident, has now been virtually reduced to a vegetable existence after she consumed acid pursuant to the incident.
“Rape of a minor not only affects her but has also a devastative impact on her entire family, which equally suffers in silence as has happened in the present case,” the court said.
The court’s order came after the girl’s mother approached it along with her daughter to narrate their woes in the wake of the girl’s rape and to apprise it of their inability and unwillingness to fight the case and seek justice.
“The indifference of the state to the plight of victims of rape is writ large since despite innumerable directions of the Supreme Court in this regard (compensation to victims) and the effective scheme for Restorative and Compensatory Justice to rape victims is yet to be put in place,” the court noted.
The Delhi High Court too had earlier ordered the state government to implement a scheme for compensation to such victims.
The court ordered compensation, pointing out that the apex court too had held that subordinate courts trying rape cases have the jurisdiction to award interim compensation as the offence of rape is against the victim’s basic human rights and violation of her fundamental right to life and liberty.
The case dates back to 2007, when the 14-year-old victim had been raped by one Vicky Sain of Vikaspuri police station area in West Delhi. The offender’s sister too faced the charge of abetting the crime by her brother.
The victim, now 18, had allegedly tried to commit suicide after her rape by consuming acid. Though she survived her suicide bid, she suffered extensive damage to her internal system and despite replacement of her food pipe, she is not able to swallow food and speak properly even now. She got no state assistance in the last four years, while undergoing treatment at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
“It is cases like these which the Ministry of Women and Child development needs to target for restorative justice so that the medical and legal assistance, besides professional and psychological counselling, shelter and other support is provided to the victim, which, in the present, case has not been done,” the judge said.
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