HC asks Maha govt to notify revised Manodhairya scheme
Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Thursday asked the Maharashtra government to notify the revised Manodhairya scheme under which monetary compensation to victims of rape and other offences against women was raised to Rs 10 lakh.
The government had on Wednesday told the court that it would revise the scheme, after facing flak from the court over the original scheme launched in October 2013.
"The state government has spent a lot of time and taken pains to come up with a new and revised model scheme. We are satisfied and direct the government to issue a government resolution notifying the revised scheme within a month," a division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice M S Sonak said on Thursday.
Under the Manodhairya Yojana launched in October 2013, the state government gave a compensation of Rs three lakh to victims of rape and other crimes against women.
Apart from the monetary compensation, the government would also provide counselling to the victim and vocational or educational training, if required.
However, the high court, while hearing a bunch of petitions on the issue, had earlier said the Maharashtra government was "insensitive" towards such victims and that it should follow the footsteps of the Goa government which awards compensation up to Rs 10 lakh.
The high court had formed a committee with two judges and bureaucrats from the state's women and child department to evolve a model scheme.
The committee yesterday submitted a 16-page proposed scheme which the government said it was accepting as the new and revised scheme.
The government, however, clarified that the scheme would not have a retrospective effect which the high court accepted.
According to the proposed scheme, in rape cases where the victim suffers mental retardation or incurs permanent physical or mental disability; in gangrape cases; minor victims of sexual assaults and acid attack cases, the victim would get a relief of Rs 10 lakh.
In a rape case which leads to death of a woman, the legal heir would get Rs 10 lakh, as per the scheme.
Under the revised scheme, the State Legal Services Authority was authorised to receive applications seeking compensation and take a decision on how much compensation should be awarded to the victim.
"Every year there will be a separate budgetary allocation for this purpose. Every year a sum of Rs 75 crore will be allocated by the Women and Child Welfare Department," Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbakoni said in the court on Thursday.