New Delhi: Is rape worth Rs 6,500?
That’s how a shocked Supreme Court Thursday asked the Madhya Pradesh government while questioning the state whether it was doing a “charity” by giving this meagre amount to the victims of sexual assaults.
The apex court said it was shocking that Madhya Pradesh, which was among the states which had received maximum funds from the Centre under the Nirbhaya fund scheme, was disbursing Rs 6,000-6,500 only to each rape victim.
The Nirbhaya Fund scheme was 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?”
“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. Is that good, commendable? 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 Haryana government also faced the wrath of the top court on Thursday for not filing its affidavit giving details about Nirbhaya Fund.
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.