Imphal, Feb. 12
Non payment of compensation entitled to victims of sexual assault crime particularly to minor victims has been seriously noted as non-compliance of rules of law of this land by the government authority by Manipur Alliance for Child Rights (MACR).
Talking to media persons at Manipur Press Club today afternoon, MACR Core Member Keisham Pradipkumar and State Convenor Montu Ahanthem informed that family of a 4 years old minor girl who was raped and murdered in December 2015 still is not getting compensation even after the court announced recommendation for the compensation on August 1, 2018.
The mandate of section 9 (a) of The Manipur Victim Compensation Scheme, 2018, says that after verifying the claim, the District Legal Services Authority shall after due inquiry award compensation within two months from the date of the recommendation of the court or application received from the victim subject to the provisions contained hereinafter. State coordinator Montu Ahanthem said that the mandate provided in section 9 (a) is not duly complied not only in this specific case but also in other similar cases.
Montu said that delay in releasing victim’s compensation is a lot of mental harassment, inconveniences to the victims, their families and support persons.
MACR Core member Keisham Pradip said that even though “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao” perceives as a high-sounding national flagship programme, the girl children in Manipur are not totally “safe”, since chains of Child Sexual Assault (CSA) cases targeting the minor girls even in schools, boarding, and hostels, within community have continued to occur now and then. In a year, on average around 78 Child Sexual Assault (CSA) cases were reported in Manipur (2013 to 2019), while in India a total 24,212 rape cases were registered during a six months period i.e. between January 1, 2019, and June 30, 2019 (National Crime Records Bureau).
India has 1.66 lakh pending cases of crime against women and children across the country. For quick disposal of the pending cases, Supreme Court on November 13, 2019 has directed to set up a total of 1,023 Fast Track Special Courts ( FTSCs), out of which 389 courts are to exclusively handle cases registered under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. Furthermore, The Criminal Amendment (Law) Act, 2018 mandated to complete rape trial within 2 months from the filing of the charge sheet, besides, proving mandatory completion of an investigation by police within 2 months.
However, in an average, CSA cases in Manipur are found pending in courts for more than three years, after the case got registered. The lengthy trial process eventually gives a traumatic and painful experience to the survivors and their families, Montu Ahanthem said.
He said the MACR demands Setting up Fast Track Special Courts in every district for speedy trial of POCSO Cases, Complete the CSA cases within a stipulated time as mandated by the related Laws, Ensuring of child-friendly environment and open special child-friendly court rooms in every POCSO Court, Ensuring early disbursal of recommended interim and final victim’s compensation without further delay and cumbersome process as per the provisions of the Manipur Victim Compensation Scheme, 2018, special training to the Police, Support Persons and Judicial Officers on victim friendly approaches and to ensure speedy trail of Sexual Assault Cases, Synergize the key stakeholders i.e. Social Welfare Department, Deputy Commissioners, MSLSA/ DALSA, Home Department and generate a One Window solution system for resolving any undue delay, while disbursing recommended Victims’ Compensation in CSA cases and the State to allocate adequate funds for setting up and running Village Level Child Protection Committees (VLCPCs) in all the villages of the state, to prevent and response to Child Sexual Assault Cases, Child Trafficking, Child Substance Abuse, School drop-out cases and other child protection issues on priority.