Paucity of funds hits Victim Compensation Scheme

Four victims of acid attack and hundreds of minors who survived sexual violence have been forced to wait indefinitely to receive compensation as paucity of funds has hit the Victim Compensation Scheme in the State.

The survivors of the acid attack include a young woman from Idukki, who suffered around 40% burns in the attack, allegedly carried out by her husband on March 9.

Though the Kerala Victim Compensation Scheme 2017 prescribes the release of Rs.1 lakh to the victim within two weeks of the incident coming to the notice of the authorities concerned, the State could not reach out to the Idukki woman even three months after the incident. The State owes the four acid victims an amount of Rs.10. 5 lakh, which is long overdue.

A time-frame was fixed for the disbursal of compensation to ensure timely and proper medical aid to the acid attack victims. The scarcity of funds has delayed the disbursement of the aid, said K.T. Nizar Ahamed, member secretary, Kerala State Legal Services Authority.

In the case of 406 minors, who were subjected to sexual violence and cases were booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, a compensation amount of Rs.5.83 crore has to be provided. The outstanding amount due to the kith and kin of those who were murdered in 33 cases would come to Rs.2.16 crore. The survivors or the immediate relatives of those who were fatally knocked down in the 31 hit-and-run cases or in the cases where the accused could not be tracked are entitled for a combined compensation of Rs.1.03 crore.

The State urgently needs Rs.10 crore for compensating the victims of various crimes. A major portion of the Rs.7.6-crore that was released in March last year was used to clear the arrears in cases dating back to 2018. The restrictions imposed on the release of funds prevented the authority from accessing the left over money, after the payment of arrears, said Mr. Ahamed.

The State Law Department has raised the demand for additional funds in excess of the Budget allocation before the Subject Committee of the State Assembly. The delay in obtaining Central funds for the scheme had compounded the situation, Department sources said.

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Printable version | Jul 25, 2022 10:17:53 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/paucity-of-funds-hits-victim-compensation-scheme/article65543052.ece