In a country where nothing seems to be working, hate crimes and religious bigotry are at their peak and crimes against women refuse to cease the country’s apex court, the Supreme Court, on Thursday rapped a state for setting a little over $ 100 as compensation for a roe victim and came down harshly on religious bigots and hate crimes and upheld the plural character or the Indian democracy.
Ruling from New Delhi the SC asked the Madhya Pradesh state government frappe was worth Rs 6,500? ($101.55 approx). Questioning the state, it asked if it was doing a “charity” by giving this meager amount to the victims of sexual assaults.
The court said it was even more shocking in the background of the fact that Madhya Pradesh was among the states which had received maximum funds from the Centre under the Nirbhaya fund scheme, announced by the Centre in 2013 after the sensational December 16, 2012 gang-rape and murder case in Delhi to support the initiatives of governments and the NGOs working for women’s safety.
A bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta, while perusing the affidavit filed by Madhya Pradesh, said, “According to you (Madhya Pradesh) and your affidavit, on an average, you are paying Rs 6,000 to a rape victim. Are you doing a charity? How can you do so. … You value a rape at Rs 6,500?” Disbursing Rs 6,000-6,500 to each rape victim.
For Madhya Pradesh, the figures are fantastic. There are 1,951 rape victims in Madhya Pradesh and you are giving them Rs 6,000-Rs 6,500 each. What is this,” the bench asked, adding, “This is total insensitiveness”.
The bench termed it “shocking” that despite getting the maximum amount under the Nirbhaya Fund, the state had only spent around Rs one crore on 1,951 rape victims.
The court had last month directed all states and union territories (UTs) to file an affidavit indicating the amount received by them under the Nirbhaya Fund towards victim compensation, amount disbursed by them under the scheme and the number of victims of sexual assault.
As many as 24 states and UTs are yet to file their affidavits. “You take your time and tell the women in your state that you do not care for them,” the bench said while observing that 24 states and UTs have not yet filed their affidavit as per the court’s direction.
The bench was informed that they have so far received only one affidavit filed on behalf of Sikkim.
In its order, the bench noted that despite all talks, discussions and intent expressed on gender justice, 24 states and UTs have not yet filed their affidavits. It asked these states and UTs to file their affidavits within four weeks, “if at all they were interested” in the welfare of women.
Six petitions were filed in the Supreme Court after the gang rape case in Delhi on December 16, 2012 raising concerns over the safety and security of women. All the petitions were tagged by the apex court and several directions have been issued from time to time in this regard.