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Govt to decide if 2017 Manodhairya scheme will cover old cases

The Maharashtra government informed the Bombay High Court that it would soon take a policy decision on whether women-related offences lodged after December 2009 would fall under the Manodhairya Yojana of 2013 or the new scheme of last year.

Under the Manodhairya scheme of October 2013, the victims of acid attacks and rape cases were liable for monetary compensation up to Rs 3 lakh.

But, after facing flak from the high court, the state government in December last year came up with a revised scheme under which the monetary compensation was increased to up to Rs 10 lakh.

The government, however, said the new scheme would not be with retrospective effect.

Additional government pleader Neha Bhide told a division bench of Justices R M Borde and R G Ketkar that the 2013 scheme covered cases lodged after December 31, 2009.

“A separate policy decision will now be taken on the cut-off date for the new scheme.

This policy decision will also decide whether the cases lodged after December 31, 2009 will be covered under the October 2013 scheme or the revised scheme of December 2017,” Bhide said.

The bench was hearing a bunch of petitions, including that of an acid attack victim, claiming that she has not been awarded compensation under the scheme.

Bhide also informed the high court that the acid attack victim has been paid Rs 6 lakh as compensation and medical expenses.

However, the victim’s lawyer argued that she should now be considered under the revised scheme of 2017.

The bench has posted the matter for further hearing on February 6.

Under the scheme, apart from monetary compensation and medical expenses, counselling and vocational training would also be provided to the women, if required.

According to the revised scheme, a relief of Rs 10 lakh will be provided in rape cases where the victim suffers mental retardation or incurs permanent physical or mental disability, in gang rape cases, minor victims of sexual assaults and acid attack cases.

In a rape case, which leads to the death of a woman, the legal heir will get Rs 10 lakh, as per the scheme.

Under the revised scheme, the State Legal Services Authority has been authorised to receive applications seeking compensation.

It will also take a decision on how much compensation should be awarded to the victim.

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