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While hearing a PIL filed by a junior advocate requesting the Supreme Court to consider the constitutional validity of the two finger test and for framing of guidelines for the medico-legal assistance for victims of rape, the apex court bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta has also been hearing suggestions by amicus curie Indira Jaising on pending issues.

On Friday (September 22), Jaising pointed out three urgent issues at hand. They were compensation to rape victims in general, the Chandigarh minor (10 years old) rape victim and pending of 20 cases in Chandigarh for compensation.

Jaising pointed out major anomalies, in which compensation figures do not tally and vary from state to state. She said the affidavit provide by the Union of India gives incomplete data. She said figures collected from Nagaland, Tripura, Chandigarh and Jharkhand are lower than the total (Rs 38 lakh) that should be compensated. Also, Goa victims, for example, get more compensation than other states. All this, while the money is waiting to be disbursed.

The requirement was for information on proper numbers to be compensated, information on where the money can be paid, at which stage should the money be paid, uniformity among compensation in states and the amount to be paid.

The court was informed that all the money was still with the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Home Affairs. Since no database of victims is maintained, the central database is inadequate.

The bench ordered that Jaising was to prepare a chart of the cap-off limits for paying of compensation. She was to also collect information regarding other data such as stages of paying of compensation in one state to another state. She is also to collect information on the 20 cases pending in Chandigarh and present it to the court.

The next date of hearing is October 4.

India Legal Bureau

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