The Supreme Court on Thursday criticised the Madhya Pradesh government for paying rape survivors a paltry amount of Rs 6,500 under the Nirbhaya fund scheme, PTI reported.
The bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said it was even more shocking as Madhya Pradesh received the maximum funds from the Centre under the scheme, and had still spent only Rs 1 crore on 1,951 rape survivors.
“According to you [Madhya Pradesh government] and your affidavit, on an average, you are paying Rs 6,000 to a rape victim,” the court said. “Are you doing a charity? How can you do so? You value a rape at Rs 6,500?”
The bench said it was “total insensitiveness” that the state government was paying only Rs 6,000 to Rs 6,500 to the rape survivors. “For Madhya Pradesh, the figures are fantastic…Is that good, commendable? What is this?,” the bench asked.
Following the December 2012 gangrape in Delhi, the Centre had announced the Nirbhaya Fund – a Rs 1,000 crore corpus – as part of its 2013 Union Budget. The then finance minister P Chidambaram had said the fund was expected to be used to support efforts and campaigns towards ensuring women’s safety in India.
The court said this while accepting the affidavits filed by various states and Union Territories. It had asked all the state and Union Territories governments in the country to file an affidavit indicating the amount that they received under the fund, the amount that they had disbursed and the number of victims of sexual assault. Twenty-four states and Union Territories, however, are yet to file their affidavits.
The court on Thursday criticised states like Haryana and Sikkim for not filing the affidavits yet, and told them to do so in four weeks “if at all they were interested” in women’s welfare.