NEW DELHI: Days after the alleged gang-rape and murder of a Dalit girl in Hathras, the spotlight is back on the way the victims and their families are treated. Though governments generally announce compensation, in most cases accessing it is not easy, which is one reason why much of the awarded sum is yet to be disbursed, data analysis shows.
In 2016, a Central Victim Compensation Fund within the Nirbhaya fund created by the Union government, released a grant to all states, of which just 36% were used, according to a parliamentary panel report submitted last year.
Lack of awareness among survivors is a primary reason for not getting compensation. There have been cases where the police fail to forward cases to the State Legal Services Authority, which is the sanctioning body. The biggest compensation bottleneck is the divisional commissioner, who is responsible for disbursing funds but files get stuck for some reason at that level.
Each state has its own scheme for compensating victims of sexual violence and the payout varies. The Ministry of Home Affairs released Rs 1,656 crore in the last five years to states and Union Territories under the Nirbhaya Fund, but received utilisation certificates for less than 9% of the sum.
This means only Rs 146.98 crore of the total amount was utilised. Maharashtra, Manipur, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Tripura and Daman & Diu did not spent even a rupee from the Nirbhaya Fund allocated by MHA.