In order to avoid delay in sanctioning compensation from the Tamil Nadu Victim Compensation Fund, the State government has accepted the proposal of the prison authorities to have only one committee at the district-level instead of a two-tier committee - one at the district-level and the other at the State-level. An order has already been issued in this regard.

The district level committee constituted only in those district headquarters where a Central Prison was functioning comprises the District Collector, Superintendent of Central Prison, Superintendent of Police and the Regional Probation Officer.

The Collector is the Chairman of the committee with the Superintendent of Prison being the Member Secretary. The Superintendent of Police and the Regional Probation Officer are the panel members. The district-level committee would recommend cases entitled for compensation under the Victim Compensation Fund, along with the quantum of assistance, to the Director General of Prisons / Additional Director General of Prisons who would in turn examine the recommendations of the committee and increase or decrease the financial assistance and approve the amount within the quantum prescribed based on the loss taken place.

Upon obtaining approval from the Director General of Prisons / Additional Director General of Prisons, the Superintendent of Prison concerned would disburse the compensation to the victim or in the case of the death of the victim to the legal heirs, jail authorities here said.

Financial assistance from the fund would be given to the victims or in the case of the death of victim to his legal heirs only once. In respect of murder cases, the assistance would be Rs.25,000 minimum and up to a maximum of Rs.50,000 for the livelihood of the family of the victim.

A minimum of Rs.10,000 and maximum of Rs.20,000 would be provided to the victim in respect of grievous hurt, while the assistance in respect of simple hurt would be Rs.5,000 minimum and Rs.10,000 maximum.

If it was loss of property and the victim happens to be below poverty line, a minimum of Rs. 10,000 and a maximum of Rs.20,000 would be sanctioned. The assistance would be Rs.20,000 minimum and Rs.40,000 maximum if the victim loses his limb and employment as a consequence of grievous hurt.

Assistance would be given for High School / College Education of the children of the victim at a minimum of Rs. 5,000 and a maximum up to Rs. 10,000 from the fund in addition to other assistance.

Prison officials say the fund had been created from 20 per cent of wages of the convicts employed in small units and maintenance work in the central jails. The amount generated under the Victim Compensation Fund in Tiruchi Central Prison alone exceeded Rs. 68 lakh as of May 2010, the officials said adding that they had received nearly 90 petitions seeking assistance under the fund.