GUWAHATI, Dec 12 – It is really distressing for the victims of crime that despite legal provisions introduced for their welfare, they are still to reap the benefits because the State Government has not yet prepared a scheme for providing funds to the victims/their dependants of crime.
It needs to be mentioned here that by virtue of the Code of Criminal Procedure Amendment Act 2008, the Parliament introduced a new provision namely Section 357A in CrPC which clearly mentions that every State Government in co-ordination with the Central Government shall prepare a scheme for providing funds for the purpose of compensation to the victim or his/her dependents who has suffered loss or injury as a result of the crime and who requires rehabilitation.
But unfortunately, as with most of the legal provisions to be implemented in true spirit in the State, this Section 357A is also facing the same fate and as a result the victims of crime, most of them from the marginalized section of the society are being deprived of financial benefits for their rehabilitation.
Pabitra Hazarika, an advocate of Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) which has been fighting for immediate implementation of the provision in the State regretted that although the provision was brought to force way back in 2009, the State Government has not yet prepared any scheme for providing funds for the purpose of compensation to the victims/their dependants in the State of Assam who have suffered loss or injury as a result of various crimes committed on them or their kith and kin.
“It is common knowledge that thousands of families have been rendered helpless because of various crimes committed on them both by criminal as well as State perpetrators. These helpless victims and their dependants are entitled to state protection in terms of monetary support as well as rehabilitation including social and mental rehabilitation,” said Hazarika.
HRLN has submitted representations to the Chief Secretary, Government of Assam, the Commissioner and Secretary, Home Department, Government of Assam for implementation of the provision at the earliest in Assam.
“Section 357A of the Code of Criminal Procedure is a self-contained code which can be activated both by State action and the judicial intervention as stipulated in law,” said Hazarika adding that in the absence of the stipulated scheme having been framed and finalized, neither the court of law nor the legal service authorities can perform their statutory duty.