The Delhi High Court on Wednesday ordered Rs 6 lakh to be given as interim compensation to a six-year-old sexual assault survivor, noting that although the system was unable to undo the offence, it can provide “psychological security and sense of empowerment that monetary compensation can give”, reported PTI.
In 2020, an uncle had allegedly sexually assaulted and abused the six-year-old boy in his home. The case against the accused is currently underway.
Delhi High Court Justice Anup Jairam Bhambani set aside a sessions court order to the Delhi State Legal Services Authority to provide Rs 50,000 as compensation, reported The Indian Express. The court instructed that Rs 1 lakh will be disbursed to the bank account of the minor with his mother as a joint owner. The remaining amount would be deposited by the legal services authority through a fixed deposit.
The High Court noted that the survivor’s family was financially weak as the total income was around Rs 6,000 with four members to support. His mother worked as a domestic worker and his father was bed-ridden, reported PTI.
“It is not hard to see that apart from the actual expenses that would be incurred for the petitioner’s [survivor] psychological counselling and treatment at a specialised institution like Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences...it would also be necessary to put money in the hands of the petitioner’s family, to arrange for the petitioner to safely attend the school he was attending earlier or some other school and to cater to his educational needs,” the High Court said.
The court also said that the petitioner had certainly “suffered extreme psychological trauma, mental agony and post-traumatic stress” because of the incident. “While attempting to quantify the compensation payable to the petitioner even at the interim stage, the effort of this court should be to offer monetary recompense...for the atonement of the crime to which the petitioner was subject; the physical and mental trauma suffered by him; and the emotional scar left on his psyche,” according to The Indian Express.
Advocate Prabhsahay Kaur, representing the minor, had argued that the additional sessions judge had not considered that even at the interim stage, the financial aid granted to the minor could help him and the family overcome the incident. The compensation was needed for the damaging effect on the boy’s psyche and for rehabilitation, he said.