The Madras High Court on Thursday increased from Rs.8 lakh to Rs.9 lakh the compensation awarded by it to a woman who was raped by a police Inspector in 1984.

Dismissing an appeal filed by the State challenging an order of a single Judge, the First Bench, comprising Chief Justice M.Y. Eqbal and Justice T.S. Sivagnanam, observed: “It is such a heinous crime of rape committed by a senior police officer of the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police, on a lady aged only 28 years, who came for protection of her life and liberty.

There seemed to be a dispute between the victim and her sister-in-law who was in forcible occupation of a portion of their house. When she and her husband approached the then Circle Inspector, Nanguneri, Mangala Dhanraj, later promoted as Deputy Superintendent, at his office-cum-residence on June 7, 1984, the police officer sent her husband away saying his wife's sister-in-law had already given a complaint and that he would finish the enquiry soon and send his wife. He later raped her.

Mangala Dhanraj was later convicted and sentenced to 11 years' imprisonment.

The victim filed a writ petition seeking compensation of Rs.9 lakh.

A single Judge allowed it directing the State to pay Rs.8 lakh to the victim with interest at nine per cent. Hence, the government's present appeal.

The Bench was of the view that the woman was entitled to Rs.9 lakh as compensation with interest at nine per cent. The Bench dismissed the appeal with the modification. The compensation with interest should be paid by the government within six weeks with liberty to recover it from Mangala Dhanraj.

More In: Tamil Nadu | National