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HC raps govt over delay in giving scheme benefits to rape victims retropectively

bombay high court

    
Mumbai : The Bombay High Court today rapped the Maharashtra government for inordinate delay in deciding whether benefits of a rehabilitation scheme meant for rape and child abuse victims can be given with retrospective effect and said it was obligated to help such victims.

A division bench of Justices R V More and Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi was irked when informed by additional public prosecutor Mankhuvar Deshmukh that the state government does not have enough funds to extend the Manodhairya scheme provisions with retrospective effect.

“You (government) are obligated to help these victims. It is your duty to ensure that they (victims) get proper counselling soon after the FIR is lodged and financial help is extended to them. You (government) are not doing charity or doing them any favour by helping them,” Justice More said.

Under the scheme, which was introduced in 2014, the state government had decided to pay maximum Rs three lakh to rape victims and those suffering in cases of violence against women.

However, during earlier hearings in a public interest litigation, the high court had suggested the scheme be applied to some deserving cases with retrospective effect.

The government had then said it would take a decision on this soon but till date no decision has been taken.

The high court has posted the petition for further hearing next week.

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