Male child victims of sexual abuse to be included in victim compensation fund: Maneka Sanjay Gandhi

Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, Union Minister of Women and Child Development, on May 30, 2018 urged the States and UTs to issue necessary directions to the concerned departments for including male child victims of sexual abuse in the Victim Compensation Schemes or Funds.

The Minister also urged that the compensation including the interim compensation should be given to the victims on time.

Maneka Sanjay Gandhi made all these requests in a letter addressed to the Chief Ministers of all States and UTs. The letter also highlighted that POCSO Act is gender neutral and safeguards the interest of not only the girl child but also the male child.

What made Gandhi write such a letter?

  • As per National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) data, though 31 State Governments have notified their Victim Compensation Scheme under Rule 7 of POCSO Rules, 2012, the disbursements of compensation has not been satisfactory.
  • In some of the states, the interim compensation to child victims of sexual abuse is not being awarded to meet the immediate medical and other needs of the child for relief or rehabilitation.
  • The male child who is the most neglected victim of child sexual abuse is being ignored for award of compensation and needs to be included.

Rule 7 of the POSCO Rules, 2012

• The Special Court may on its own or on an application filled by or on behalf of the child, pass an order for interim compensation to meet the immediate needs of the child at any stage after registration of FIR.  

• The Special Court may recommend the award of compensation where the accused is convicted, or where the case ends in acquittal or discharge, or the accused is not traced or identified, or if the child has suffered loss or injury as a result of that offence.

• The compensation awarded by the Special Court is to be paid by the States from the Victims Compensation Fund or other schemes established for the purposes of compensating and rehabilitating victims under section 357A of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

• The State Government needs to pay the compensation ordered by the Special Court within 30 days of receipt of such order.

• Nothing can prevent a child or his parent or guardian or any other person from submitting an application for seeking relief under any other rules or scheme of the Central Government or State Government.

Factors relating to the loss or injury caused to the victim, as per Rule 7 of POSCO Rules, 2012

Where the Special Court directs the award of compensation to the victim, it shall take into account all relevant factors relating to the loss or injury caused to the victim, including:

  • Type of abuse, gravity of the offence and the severity of the mental or physical harm or injury
  • Expenditure incurred or likely to be incurred on his medical treatment
  • Loss of educational opportunity as a consequence of the offence, including absence from school and trial of the offence, or any other reason
  • Loss of employment as a result of the offence including absence from place of employment due to mental trauma, bodily injury, medical treatment and trial of the offence
  • Relationship of the child to the offender, if any
  • Whether the abuse was a single isolated incidence or whether the abuse took place over a period of time
  • Whether the child became pregnant as a result of the offence
  • Whether the child contracted a Sexually Transmitted Disease
  • Whether the child contracted Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
  • Any disability suffered by the child as a result of the offence
  • Financial condition of the child against whom the offence has been committed

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