In a significant judgment, Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court has disposed of the plea seeking enhancement in the compensation for a rape victim under Manodhairya scheme.
The bench comprising Justices Tanaji Nalawade and Mukund Sewlikar disposed of the plea observing that if one such case will be reopened, then hundreds of other rape cases have to be reopened.
One rape survivor who was raped in 2016, had moved the High Court seeking compensation under Manodhairya scheme. She was a minor at the time of incident.
She had then filed an application before the district collector who was earlier empowered with the power to grant compensation in such matters.
The petitioner has claimed that her plea was pending from last two years. However, she was later granted a compensation worth Rs 2 lakh. The government has amended the scheme and has increased the compensation amount to Rs 10 lakh. Following which, the survivor has demanded three lakh more.
The survivor in her petition contended that she entirely depends on her mother and brother, whom she claimed to be unable to earn the livelihood.
“This Court has gone through the record and the committee has considered all the aspects of the matter and under old scheme the amount of Rs two lakh is sanctioned. The submissions that new scheme ought to have been used cannot be accepted as in that case, every previous matter will have to be reopened for consideration” said Justice Nalawade.
The two judge bench disposed of the plea and stated, “The amount is generally increased after few years due to change in circumstances like increase of cost of living index. Thus, this court holds that the committee has not committed any error in giving benefit to the victim under the old scheme.”
Manodhairya scheme was introduced in 2013 by Maharashtra state government through a government resolution following the Bombay High Court directions. The scheme is aimed at providing financial support to and rehabilitation of victims of rape, child sexual abuse and acid attacks.