Immediately release ₹7 crore to pay compensation to victims of crimes, HC tells Govt.

January 28, 2022 10:12 pm | Updated 10:12 pm IST - Bengaluru

The High Court of Karnataka has directed the State Government to immediately release ₹7 crore to the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority (KSLSA) for paying compensation to victims of crimes under the victim compensation scheme.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice Suraj Govindaraj issued the direction after noticing that the State Government has released only ₹13 crore of the total ₹20 crore required by the KSLSA to be paid to victims of crimes during the year 2020-21.

The Bench was hearing a PIL petition filed in 2017 by the People’s Movement Against Sexual Assault, Bengaluru, on the issue related to delay in payment of compensation to victims of crimes, particularly victims of sexual assaults.

Though the KSLSA had requested release of ₹20 crore for payment of compensation long ago, the Government had not released the amount. Following this delay, the High Court had directed presence of the Principal Secretary, Department of Women and Child Development, to appear before the court.

Subsequently, the Government released ₹13 crore and informed the court that it can release the remaining ₹7 crore for which the KSLSA has to send a requisition. However, counsel for the KSLSA has clarified that request for release of remaining ₹7 crore was already sent to the Government and it would be repeated again if needed.

The KSLSA is the nodal agency for disbursement of compensation under the victim compensation scheme in Karnataka and it is obligation of the Government to release amount required to be paid to the victims as per the scheme formulated based on the apex court’s directions.

Following this, the Bench directed the Government to immediately release the remaining amount while adjourning further hearing till February 9.

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