2009 The concept of victim rights, victim rehabilitation and victim compensation began to emerge from the United Nations Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice and Abuse of Power 1985. The key factor in helping the victim is compensation for rehabilitation, which the Indian judiciary has read as an integral part of the ‘right to life’. The Criminal Procedure Code was amended in 2008 to bring this principle into existence, which came in force in 2009, and each state took its own time to formulate the scheme. In the same year, DISHA was established in Maharashtra and started action research for the rehabilitation of victims in Amravati district. During this action research, DISHA found that the system understood and identified the victim’s plight, but found no provision in the law book that guide or direct them to help the victim of the crime. And in this situation DISHA found that the amendment in Section 357A is a very important but neglected provision that could help the victim within the legal framework.
2011 Till 2011, except Maharashtra, few progressive states in India formulated the victim compensation schemes. DISHA approached the state and central governments to find out the cause of inactivity in Maharashtra. Unfortunately, the state and central governments transferred the responsibility of implementing the compensation scheme in Maharashtra to each other. As a last resort, DISHA approached the Hon’ble High Court of the Nagpur Bench to implement the scheme for the benefit of the victims of crime. The Hon’ble High Court, in view of the plight of the victims of crime and the importance of Section 357 (A (Compensation Scheme), considered it a Public Interest Litigation (49/2011). However, as per the assurance of the Government of Maharashtra to prepare the scheme soon, the Hon’ble High Court dismissed the PIL.
2014 Even after the end of PIL, the determination and confidence of DISHA in activation of the victim compensation scheme remained intact. After the dismissal of PIL, DISHA waited patiently for a year to catch progress on the scheme at the ground level. In that one year, the Maharashtra government did not formulate a victim compensation scheme. In the year 2013, DISHA filed a new PIL (66/2013) for the activation of the Victim Compensation Scheme, which was concluded with formation of the Maharashtra Victim Compensation Scheme in year 2014 with budgetary provision of rupees 1.23 crore. The Maharashtra Victims Compensation Scheme 2014 provides compensation up to rupees 2 lakh to victims of murder, permanent disability and acid attack.
During its action research, DISHA found that the system understood and identified the victim’s plight, but found no provision in the law book that guide or direct them to help the victim of the crime.
Watch: Appreciation by Shri Krushna Prakash, IPS – Special IG, VIP Security, Maharashtra State