Bombay HC allows acid attack victims to claim compensation under Maharashtra's 2022 Scheme

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Court noted that by an interim order passed on 17th April 2017, the petitioners were awarded an amount of Rs.5,00,000/- as interim compensation.

The Bombay High Court has recently allowed the plea of three acid attack victims to file for compensation under the “Maharashtra Victim Compensation Scheme for Women Victims / Survivors of Sexual Assault / Other Crimes, 2022”.

An acid attack in the instant case had taken place on 4th October 2010 on the petitioners and their family members. The petitioners were assaulted with acid by their elder sister, her husband and son.

The victims were admitted in Bhabha Hospital and KEM Hospital for two months where they received treatment and underwent reconstructive surgery.

A bench of Justices AS Chandurkar and Jitendra Jain has allowed the three victims to seek compensation despite Clause 16 under the said Scheme as per which a period of limitation has been prescribed and the claim is required to be made within a period of three years from the date of occurrence of the offence or conclusion of the trial.

Submitting that the incident in question occurred on 4th October 2010 while the trial concluded in the year 2015, the petitioner's counsel submitted that the claims be entertained without being treated as being barred by limitation.

"We find that under the Proviso to Clause 16, the delay beyond a period of three years can be condoned in deserving cases. We find the present case to be a deserving one for the reason that after being subjected to an acid attack, the petitioners were required to approach this Court in the matter of grant of compensation. During pendency of this writ petition, the Scheme of 2022 came to be implemented. We therefore find that the petitioners can be permitted to move an application seeking compensation in accordance with the Scheme of 2022...", the bench held.

The division bench has accordingly directed the petitioners to seek compensation under the Scheme of 2022 by making an appropriate application within a period of four weeks, and the application shall be considered on its own merits and in accordance with law.

Case Title: XYZ vs. State of Maharashtra and Ors.