The Delhi High Court on 13 December 2016 ruled that a child born out of rape is entitled to compensation, independent of any such relief granted to the mother.
The decision was passed by a bench of Justice RK Gauba and Justice Gita Mittal. The court noted that there was no provision of compensation for such children under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act or under the Delhi government's victim compensation scheme.
Highlights of the Verdict
• The court felt that there is a vacuum for compensation for a child that is born due to a sexual offence.
• The child born due to the offence is clearly a victim of an act of the offender and thus he/she is entitled to compensation independent of the amount of compensation that is paid to his/her mother.
• Such compensation should include the amount towards his/her maintenance and support.
The matter came into consideration by the court while hearing a plea of a man convicted and awarded life term for raping his minor step-daughter who, as a result of the crime, gave birth at the tender age of 14 years. The court upheld his sentence.
Besides, the compensation amount of Rs. 15 lakh granted to the victim (mother) by the trial court was reduced to Rs. 7.5 lakh by the High Court. The court said that the compensation amount (Rs 15 lakh) went against the 2011 compensation scheme (Delhi government's victim compensation scheme) that was formulated by the Delhi Government.
POSCO and Court’s observation
‘The provisions of POSCO refer to the Victim Compensation Scheme and the Victim Compensation Fund that was prepared and enforced by the Union Government in terms of Section 357A of the CrPC’, noted by the court. But, the rules mentioned under POSCO fail to quantify the compensation to the child, who was born out of the sexual violence. Such children are a direct victim of the offence.