Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Bombay High Court disposes of PIL seeking compensation for 7 ST rape victims

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The Bombay High Court disposed of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed in the interest of seven rape victims at a shelter home in Nashik.

The PIL has been filed by one Rajesh P. Khobragade. According to the counsel for the petitioner, FIRs have been registered. The PIL prayed the investigation be transferred to the CBI. It also sought a direction to the trial court to complete the trial within a year from the date the charge-sheet is filed.

According to the counsel, the victims are from the Scheduled Tribe category and are short of funds. Compensation needs to be provided to them. The PIL sought a direction to respondent no.1 (State of Maharashtra) to appoint a committee to conduct an inquiry.

Public Prosecutor A.S. Pai submitted that in all seven cases investigation is complete and the charge-sheet has been filed on January 23, 2023. The schemes for paying compensation to such victims are in place. Under the Act, the Committees are constituted to inspect the shelter homes.

The Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice  S.V. Gangapurwala and Justice Sandeep V. Marne appreciated the anxiety of the petitioner. “Now that the investigation is complete and the charge-sheet has been filed, the matter would be before the Special Court. We are not aware of the number of matters pending before the Special Court. Naturally, the matters are dealt with by the Special Court expeditiously,” the Court said.

As far as the contention of the counsel for the petitioner with regard to the compensation is concerned, the schemes are in place. If the schemes are not being implemented, the petitioner may have recourse in law for its implementation, observed the Bench.

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