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Victim Compensation

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  • Pages: 4
  • Word count: 869
  • Category: crime

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•Initial focus was only on the aspect of punishment
•Now focus started shifting when encountered with the fact that the person who is victim of crime is getting nothing out of the whole process of criminal justice system or is getting a so called satisfaction by seeing the offender punished •Therefore Jurists, penologists etc in all countries started giving their full attention to the cause of victim in form of compensation •Hence the whole debate started about ways, means and extent of compensation •This topic is an addition to the same as it tries to look in to the position of compensation to victim of crime in Indian legal frame work Definition of Victim

•Indian legislature has not bothered to define “VICTIM” under any law and probably the Indian judiciary is also in the same footing •As per UN General assembly declaration, ‘Victim’ means a persons who, individually or collectively, have suffered harm, including physical or mental injury, emotional suffering, economic loss or substantial impairment of other fundamental rights Definition of Compensation

•Anything that compensates or is given to compensate (for: a counter balancing feature or factor; amends, recompensates specific amount of money given to compensate loss or injury, or for the requestioned property Evolution of the concept

•Hammurabis code
•Ancient Greek city
•According to Manu
–If limb is injured, a wound is caused or blood flows, the assialant shall be made to pay the expense of the cure or the whole –He who damages the goods of another, be it intentionally or unintentionally, shall give to the owner a kind of fine equal to damage

Victim Compensation
•Victim can get compensation in cases in which the Court finds it necessary
•The compensation can be recommended even in cases where the trial ends in acquittal or discharge, provided there is a need •A Victim of crime has hardly any guaranteed right except may be of getting some assistance by way of payment of compensation, but even here the statutory provisions are grossly inadequate. These provisions suffer from inherent limitations Victim Compensation – Reparation

•Reparation is arguably the most comprehensive means of compensating individuals and groups whose rights have been violated •Reparation acknowledges that serious wrongs have been done and, consequently, that the injured person is entitled to remedy and redress •Reparation is commonly associated with paying monetary compensation

Victim Compensation – Assistance
•Apart from compensation, Victim assistance seems to be a dire necessity for Victim rehabilitation •This would include, but is not limited to, the following services like Crisis intervention, Counseling, Emergency shelter, Criminal justice advocacy and Emergency transportation

Victim Compensation
•Right to engage an Advocate of his choice to assist the prosecution •Right to prefer an appeal against any order passed by the Court acquitting the accused or convicting for a lesser offence or imposing inadequate compensation, and such appeal shall lie to the Court to which an appeal ordinarily lies against the order of conviction of such Court –In addition to bolstering monetary reparations for Victims, a new legislation should also address other needs of Victims, including medical and psychological care, economic care, immediate protection security, and long-term rehabilitation

Under Indian Constitution
•The principle of payment of compensation to the victim of crime was evolved by Hon’ble S.C. on the ground that it is duty of the welfare state to protect the fundamental rights of the citizens not only against the actions of its agencies but is also responsible for hardships on the victims on the grounds of humanitarianism and obligation of social welfare, duty to protect it’s subject, equitable Justice Under Indian Constitution

•It is to be noted that compensation by the State for the action of it’s official was evolved by the Hon’ble Court against the doctrine of English law: “King can do no Wrong” and that doctrine of sovereign immunity is only applicable in the case of tortuous act of government servant and not where there is violation of fundamental rights and hence in a way stated that in criminal matters (of course if there is violation of fundamental rights) this doctrine is not applicable

The brief review of the existing legal framework in relation to right of Victims reveals that except in the area of providing compensation, very little has been done either statutorily or through schemes to address the entire range of problems faced by the Victims. The development of entitling the Victim a right to rehabilitation is at an early stage. Although there will always be debate about what can and should be offered, it is high time for the legislature to come out with diverse and elevating rehabilitation schemes which would genuinely benefit the Victim to forget his plight. The present position of Victim Compensation Schemes in India needs to be revisited

A new specialised legislation needs to be drawn in lines with that of US and UK in order to render meaningful justice, social and legal and facilitate effective measures such as: –1. Fair, considerate and sympathetic treatment by the police, hospitals, welfare organisations, prosecution and Courts; –2. Prompt restitution/compensation to the Victim for the injury or loss suffered by using the existing provisions; –3. Security to Victims and potential Victims against victimisation in future.

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