The Bombay High Court today said that merely giving compensation to rape survivors is not enough and efforts should be made by Maharashtra government to frame a policy for the welfare of children born to them as they too are victims
"The children of rape victims should be treated as victims and care should be taken to ensure that they are looked after well and get good education and better facilities," a division bench of Justices Ranjit More and Anuja Prabhudessai observed. The bench had called the Principal Secretary of Women and Child Welfare Ministry today to know whether there existed a policy for welfare of children of rape victims. However, the official did not come as he was preoccupied with some other work. The court then asked him to come on the next date and said it was ready to hear him in the chambers.
The high court also advised the government to put in place a mechanism to ensure that the information about rape victims reaches it promptly so that it can act on paying the compensation. "The government should not allow such information to remain with police only," said the judges. Two days back, the same bench had also asked the government whether it proposes to increase the monetary compensation under the Manodhairya scheme for the victims of rape and other crimes against women.
"We would also like to know if the government has any policy or scheme for those children who are born to the women who have been the victims of rape," the court had said. Under the Manodhairya Yojana launched in October 2013, the Maharashtra government gives compensation of Rs three lakh to the victims of rape and other crimes against women. Apart from the monetary compensation, the government also provides counselling to the victims and vocational or educational training, if required.
The court was hearing a petition filed by city resident Jaeel Shaikh seeking implementation of the scheme from retrospective effect and for awarding the compensation also to those who fell prey to various crimes against women before 2013. Earlier, another bench headed by Chief Justice Manjula Chellur had termed the Manodhairya scheme as "insulting, inhuman and shameful". Chief Justice Chellur too has asked the government to consider increasing the monetary compensations to the victims of rape and other crimes against women.