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Unhappy over the Delhi government not releasing money for the victim compensation fund, as was ordered by it three months ago, the Delhi High Court today directed it to disburse Rs 15 crore by August 17.
A bench of justices S Ravindra Bhat and S P Garg also directed the Principal Secretary, Finance of the Delhi government to be present before it on August 17, the next date of hearing in the matter, if the money was not disbursed.
The court had, on May 4, directed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government to disburse Rs 10 crore within seven days for granting interim compensation to victims of sexual offences.
However, the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA), represented by advocate Sumer Sethi, told the bench that no amount had been received from the government.
It also told the court that the requirement of funds to grant interim compensation had gone up to Rs 15 crore as it had processed over 500 applications of victims.
The Delhi government told the court that meetings were held and the proposal to replenish the victim compensation fund had also been processed, but the Finance department was yet to take a decision on it.
It, however, added that the decision to disburse Rs 10 crore, as was ordered by the court earlier, would be taken today.
The victim compensation fund was created in the aftermath of the gruesome December 16, 2012 gangrape case in the national capital.
The bench noted that the DSLSA now needed Rs 15 crore and said, "Given this development, the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi shall take immediate action to disburse the funds required by the DSLSA before the next date of hearing, failing which the Principal Secretary, Finance would be present in court on the next date."
During the hearing, amicus curiae (an impartial adviser to a court of law in a particular case) Meera Bhatia and Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) Chairperson Swati Maliwal told the court that there was no money for giving compensation to the victims of crimes against women, including rape.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) initiated by it after the December 16, 2012 gangrape.
The court has been giving directions in the matter from time to time with regard to improving investigation of crimes and protection of women in the national capital.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)