Govt hikes compensation to Dalit victims

A Dalit victim of gangrape or murder could get at least Rs 8.25 lakh from states with the Centre on Ambedkar Jayanti notifying the substantial increase in compensation.

The Centre has amended the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Rules of 1995 and issuance of notification came on April 14, the day the nation celebrated the 125th birth anniversary of Dalit icon B R Ambedkar. The rules were earlier amended in 2011.

The latest changes make the list of crimes to be compensated more specific under 47 heads compared to 22 in the previous amendment, and put more clear instructions on the disbursement of the compensation that ranges from Rs one lakh to Rs 8.25 lakh. Until now, the compensation ranged between Rs 60,000 to Rs five lakh.

The state government will now have to provide monetary relief within seven days besides providing immediate relief like food, water, clothing, shelter, medical aid and transport facilities to victims.

According to the amendments, abusing by caste name in public place and garlanding Dalits with footwear or parading naked will result in Rs one lakh compensation.

With cases of Dalits being discriminated on electoral front coming to light, the compensation on such incidents has been raised to Rs 85,000 from Rs 50,000.

The enhanced compensation for a gangrape victim will be disbursed in three instalments with half of the money being given soon after medical examination confirming the crime. A rape victim would get at least Rs five lakh.

The new rules have changed the compensation for kin of murder victims. Previously, the kin would have got Rs 5 lakh if an earning Dalit member was killed and Rs 2.5 lakh for a non-earning victim, the fresh regulations do not make any such distinction and give Rs 8.25 lakh as relief.

Compensation for crime against Dalit women has also been clearly delineated compared to the 2011 amendments.

A acid attack victim, whose face was damaged, could get at least Rs 8.25 lakh while Rs two lakh should be given to victims of incidents of intentionally touching a Dalit woman without consent, using acts or gestures, as an act of sexual nature. Stalking, outraging modesty of women, voyeurism and physical relations by husband upon his wife during separation also result in Rs two lakh compensation.

COMPENSATION

Rs one lakh for

** Dumping excreta, sewage, carcasses or any other obnoxious substance

** Garlanding with footwear or parading naked or semi-naked

** Wrongful dispossession of land

** Compelling to dispose or carry human or animal carcasses, or to dig graves

** Abusing by caste name in public view

** Forcing to leave house, village

** Preventing from riding cycles, wearing footwear or new clothes,

** Preventing from mounting horse during wedding processions

Rs 85,000 for

** Prevention from voting, filing nomination

** Forcing, intimidating or obstructing a holder of office of Panchayat or Municipality from performing duties

** Violence and imposition of social and economic boycott after elections

** Fouling or corrupting of water

Rs 2 lakh for

** Intentionally touching Dalit woman without consent

** Outraging modesty

** Voyeurism.

** Stalking

Rs 5 lakh for

** Rape

Rs 8.25 lakh for

** Gangrape

** Murder

Rs 85,000 to Rs 8.25 lakh for

** Acid attacks

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on Apr 16, 2016)

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