The apex court said it was “shocking” that Madhya Pradesh, which was among the States that received maximum funds from the Centre under the Nirbhaya scheme, was disbursing a meagre Rs. 6,000-Rs. 6,500 to each victim of sexual assault.
The Nirbhaya Fund scheme was announced by the Centre in 2013 after the horrific December 16, 2012 gang-rape and murder case in Delhi, to support the initiatives of governments and NGOs working for women’s safety.
A Bench comprising Justices Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta, while perusing Madhya Pradesh’s affidavit, said: “According to your (Madhya Pradesh) affidavit, on an average you are paying Rs. 6,000 to a rape victim. Are you doing a charity? How can you do so? You value a rape at Rs. 6,500?”
“For Madhya Pradesh, the figures are fantastic. There are 1,951 rape victims in Madhya Pradesh and you are giving them Rs. 6,000-Rs. 6,500 each. Is that good, commendable? What is this,” the Bench asked, adding, “this is total insensitiveness”.
The Haryana government also faced the wrath of the top court for not filing its affidavit giving details of the Nirbhaya Fund disbursement.
The court had last month directed all States and Union Territories to file an affidavit indicating the amount received by them under the Nirbhaya Fund, the amount disbursed by them and the number of victims who had received it. As many as 24 States and UTs are yet to file their affidavits.
When Haryana’s counsel said they haven’t filed the affidavit, the Bench observed, “It is a very clear indication of what you feel for safety of women in your State.” “You take your time and tell the women in your State that you do not care for them,” the Bench said.
In its order, the Bench noted that despite all talks, discussions and intent expressed on gender justice, 24 States and UTs have not yet filed their affidavits.
It asked these States and UTs to file their affidavits within four weeks, “if at all they were interested” in the welfare of women.