Calcutta HC orders State to pay 7 Lakhs as Compensation to Minor Rape Victim

The single judge bench of Justice Moushumi Bhattacharya of the Calcutta High Court recently, in the case of X v. State of West Bengal (WPA 5441 of 2023) directed the West Bengal government to pay a compensation of Rs. 7 Lakh to a minor victim of trafficking and rape.


Facts of the Case:

The petitioner was 17 years of age at the time of filing the writ petition. The petitioner claims compensation under the National Legal Services Authority’s (NALSA) Compensation Scheme for Women Victims/Survivors of Sexual Assault/other Crimes-2018. The Petitioner was granted compensation of an amount of Rs. 1,25,000/- for rape and Rs. 25,000/- for sexual assault under the West Bengal Victim Compensation Scheme, 2017 on December 4, 2019. The petitioner challenged the order before DLSA which was dismissed vide order dated September 14, 2022, on the ground that the petitioner’s compensation was in accordance with the 2017 Scheme. The counsel appearing for the petitioner claimed compensation in accordance with the specific Scheme of the NALSA which provides for a minimum compensation of Rs. 4,00,000/- for an woman who is a victim of rape, and Rs. 7,00,000/- as the upper limit.


Order Review:

The court was of the view that the petitioner/victim before the court cannot be asked to wait until the funds are sanctioned by the State Government and reach the Judicial Department. The State hence was ordered to pay a sum of Rs.7 lacs to the petitioner within seven days from the date and file a compliance report in the form of an affidavit on the next date of hearing which is listed for 4th May, 2023. 

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