‘Financial Assistance and Support Services to Victims of Rape: A Scheme for Restorative Justice’

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The Hon’ble Supreme Court in Delhi Domestic Working Women’s Forum Vs. Union of India & Ors. in Writ Petition (Crl) No.362/93, while outlining the broad parameters for extending assistance to the victims of rape, indicated the necessity of setting up of a Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. The Government has formulated a scheme, ‘Financial Assistance and Support Services to Victims of Rape: A Scheme for Restorative Justice’ which envisages setting up of Criminal Injuries Relief and Rehabilitation Boards at National, State and District level. The scheme has not received the required approval as yet.

The District Boards will implement the scheme. The State Boards will be responsible for coordinating and monitoring the functions of the District Boards in the States and entertain appeals against their decisions. The National Board shall administer the scheme besides monitoring and coordinating the functions of State Boards.

This information was given by Smt. Krishna Tirath, Minister of State for Women and Child Development in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today.

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Protection of Women from Domestic Violence

The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA) is implemented by the States/Union Territories. The State Governments are required to appoint Protection Officers, register Service Providers and notify shelter homes and medical facilities for implementation of the Act. The Implementation of the Act was reviewed in the meeting of the State Ministers and Secretaries in charge of Women & Child Development, on 16-17 June, 2010, and particularly with regard to the appointment of Protection Officers and registration of Service Providers.

The PWDVA is a Civil law meant to protect and provide support to victims of domestic violence. Under the Act, the aggrieved woman can seek various reliefs such as protection order, residence order, custody order, compensation order, monetary reliefs, shelter and medical facilities. The aggrieved woman can also file a complaint under Section 498A of IPC, where ever relevant. A few complaints/representations alleging misuse of the Act together with alleged misuse of 498A of IPC have been received. These complaints are primarily against alleged misuse of Section 498A IPC rather than any specific provision of the PWDVA.

Under the PWDVA, various reliefs are provided to the aggrieved women on the orders passed by the Magistrate after following due procedure. The Act also has a provision for appeal against the orders of the Magistrate. While adequate safeguards under existing laws such as Section 211 of IPC and Section 250 of CR.PC are available to deal with misuse, if any, of legal provisions, the Government in the Ministry of Home Affairs has issued an advisory on 20.10.2009 to all State Governments and Union Territory Administrations to comply with the procedure as directed by the Courts and follow the advisories issued by the Government of India from time to time, to put to rest the allegation of misuse of Section 498A of IPC.

This information was given by Smt. Krishna Tirath, Minister of State for Women and Child Development in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today.

Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS)

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Evaluation of the child protection schemes of the Ministry of Women & Child Development, including the scheme ‘An Integrated Programme for Street Children’, in 2007 revealed shortcomings and gaps in these schemes and their implementation.To bridge these gaps and to provide safe and secure environment for overall development of children in difficult circumstances, the Government of India in the Ministry of Women and Child Development, has introduced a new comprehensive Centrally Sponsored Scheme, namely, Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) w.e.f. 2009-10 by merging three erstwhile schemes, including the scheme ‘An Integrated Programme for Street Children’ with additional components. This Scheme is being implemented through State Governments/ UT Administrations.

Under this Scheme, there is provision for setting up of ‘Open Shelters’ for children in need of care and protection, including the street children, in urban and semi-urban areas. The programmes and activities of these Open Shelters inter alia include age-appropriate education, access to vocational training, recreation, bridge education, linkages to the National Open School Programme (NOSP), health care, counseling etc.

There is no proposal in the Ministry of Women and Child Development to conduct a specific study to ascertain the number of street children in the country; However, ICPS provides for setting up of District Child Protection Societies by the State Governments/ UT Administrations in every district of the State. The role and responsibility of the District Child Protection Society includes identifying families and children at risk to prevent destitution of children and carrying out a situational analysis of children in difficult circumstances, including street children.

Section 62 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 provides that every State Government/Union Territory Administration shall constitute Child Protection Units for every district. To facilitate the States/UTs in setting up such Units, financial assistance is being provided to them on a cost sharing basis (90 per cent for North Eastern States and State of Jammu & Kashmir and 75 per cent for other States) through a Centrally Sponsored Scheme, namely Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS).

As ICPS has been introduced very recently, i.e. in 2009-10, and the States have just commenced the implementation the Units are being progressively established by them. During the current year, 18 States have submitted the financial proposals for release of grants under this Scheme. Funds have already been released to 7 States. State -wise number of Units established, and funds released to them are at Annex.

ICPS provides for establishment of institutional mechanisms for monitoring the implementation of ICPS, including performance of the DCPS. Such mechanisms include District Child Protection Committees (DCPCs) at District level and State Child Protection Committee (SCPC) at State level and Central Project Support Unit (CPSU) under the Government of India in the Ministry of Women and Child Development. As the Scheme is at the initial stage of implementation, it is early to undertake the annual appraisal.

This information was given by Smt. Krishna Tirath, Minister of State for Women and Child Development in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today.

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(Release ID :67659)

Offences against children- Bill on Protection of Children from Sexual Offences

26 NOVEMBER 2010

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data shows that cases of sexual offences against children have been on the rise. From 2265 cases in 2001, the number has increased to 5749 in 2008. A Study on Child Abuse undertaken by the Ministry of Women and Child Development in 2007: INDIA 2007, conducted in thirteen States, with a sample size of 12447 children, 2324 young adults and 2449 stakeholders has also revealed that out of 12,447 children interviewed, more than fifty-three percent reported having faced one or more forms of sexual abuse. Over Fifty percent abusers were persons known to the child or in a position of trust and responsibility. Major findings of the study are:

i. 53.22% children reported having faced one or more forms of sexual abuse.
ii. Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar and Delhi reported the highest percentage of sexual abuse among both boys and girls.
iii. 21.90% child respondents reported facing severe forms of sexual abuse and 50.76% other forms of sexual abuse.
iv. Out of the child respondents, 5.69% reported being sexually assaulted.
v. Children on street, children at work and children in institutional care reported the highest incidence of sexual assault.
vi. 50% abuses were by persons known to the child or in a position of trust and responsibility.
vii. Most children did not report the matter to anyone.
The Government proposes to bring a new law to protect children against sexual offences of various types. The draft Bill on Protection of Children from Sexual Offences which has been prepared, regards the best interests and well being of the child as of paramount importance at every stage of the judicial process. It incorporates child friendly procedures for reporting, recording, investigating and trial of offences. The Bill aims to protect the child’s right to privacy and confidentiality; provides for designation of Special Courts for trial of offences and stringent punishment to provide adequate deterrence, while at the same time ensuring adequate penalty commensurate to the gravity of each offence.

The draft Bill on Protection of Children from Sexual Offences is at the stage of inter-ministerial consultation and will be introduced after these are completed and after seeking the approval of the competent authority. Smt. Krishna Tirath, Ministry of State (Independent Charge) for Women and Child Development, gave this information in the Lok Sabha today.

YSK: PM
(Release ID :67656)