MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court recently directed the State government to pay Rs 1.95 lakh compensation to a sexual assault victim from a Scheduled Caste community. Justice G Ilangovan passed the order by referring to a positive observation made by the court in the woman’s previous petition seeking enhancement of her compensation under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Amendment Rules, 2016.
In the earlier order dated August 29, 2018, the court had observed, “A beneficial piece of legislation (SC/ST Act) must be interpreted in a purposive manner which would effectuate the object of the welfare legislation and the court must be always lean in favour of applying the beneficial measures that have been given to victims, even in cases where the incident had happened before 2016.”
Despite the said observation, the authorities had rejected the woman’s request for enhancement saying the incident took place before the amendment came into force, Justice Ilangovan noted. He directed the Dindigul district collector to pay additional compensation of Rs 1.95 lakh to the woman within two months. However, he warned that the victims cannot keep filing petitions every time an amendment is made enhancing the compensation amount.