A PIL filed 15 years ago has been disposed by the Orissa High Court seeking Rs 10 lakh compensation for a rape victim as it was not clear whether the petitioner had the victim’s consent to pursue the case.
The court said it is not clear whether the victim was made aware of it and her present location is also naturally not known.
The division bench of Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice BP Routray said that in this state of suspicion, in the absence of the petitioner and particularly since the privacy of the victim requires to be respected and nothing should be done in her name without her consent, the court is not in a position to pass any orders as prayed for.
The court said that however, the changes in the law since then have mandated payment of compensation to victims of rape in terms of the schemes formulated under Section 357-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
The court said that if the petitioner is still able to locate the victim, and if she is still willing to pursue the matter regarding compensation, then it will be open to the petitioner to apply to the Odisha State Legal Services Authority for assistance in the matter of receiving compensation. Advocate Prabir Kumar Das had filed the petition seeking compensation for a 19-year-old victim of rape in view of the incident that took place in officers’ rest house at Cuttack railway station on July 7, 2006.