BHUBANESWAR: Puri district, which is in the eye of the storm over the Pipili gangrape incident, is one of the 18 districts which did not constitute the district criminal injuries relief and rehabilitation board. The board implements a scheme meant for financial assistance and support to rape victims.
With the issue raging, the Women and Child Development Department has asked the districts to constitute the board so that the scheme ‘Financial assistance and support services to victims of rape’ can be made operational.
Last year, the Government had issued instructions twice but not many districts paid heed. Only Sonepur, Keonjhar, Dhenkanal, Jajpur, Mayurbhanj, Sambalpur, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Sundargarh, Kalahandi, Ganjam and Gajapati have come up with the boards as yet even as the Government finalises the financial and procedural formalities to streamline payment of compensation to rape victims from a separate budget head. As of now, district magistrates are empowered to pay the compensation from other exigency funds.
Central aid of Rs 7.63 crore is available with the State Government in the current fiscal for providing financial assistance and support services to rape victims. Under the scheme, an affected woman will be entitled to financial assistance and restorative support, adding up to a maximum amount of Rs 2 lakh.
In certain cases and on a reference from the district board, the State board has the power to provide an additional assistance of up to Rs 1 lakh subject to a ceiling of Rs 3 lakh.
The process for formulation of the scheme was initiated by the National Commission for Women in 1995. The district criminal injuries relief and rehabilitation board will comprise SP, a civil surgeon, an eminent woman expert and a representative of district legal services authority.