New Delhi, Apr 25 The Centre was today directed by the Delhi High Court to consider within three weeks a lawyer's suggestion to provide finacial assisstance, free medical treatment and rehabilitate victims of terrorist, communal and naxal attacks.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw directed the Home Ministry to consider suggestions for certain changes in its "Central Scheme for Assisstance to Civilian Victims of Terrorist, Communal and Naxal Violence" issued in 2008.
The court passed the order on a PIL filed by advocate Gaurav Bansal seeking some amendments to the central scheme. He argued that under the scheme an amount of Rs 3 lakh is given to the next of the kin of each deceased and to the victim who have suffered more than 50 per cent permanent incapacitation.
According to the petitioner, the clause in the scheme that the amount of Rs 3 lakh would be put in a fixed deposit account and would have a minimum lock-in period of three years is illegal and improper and the court should set aside the clause.
He sought a direction to the government to grant finacial assisstance of Rs 3 lakh within a day after the verification of the victims.
To his submission, the bench said "it would mean he (beneficiary) lives comfortably for three months and after that he is reduced to live in penury. That is what you want"
The government, however, said the lock-in period makes sure that the victims earn interest on the amount of Rs 3 lakh.
Terming the scheme as illegal, improper, unreasonable and arbitrary, the petition said "it is silent on financial assisstance and also free medical treatment to victims who have suffered serious injuries without permanent incapacitation and those who have received minor injuries in terror attacks."
It also said the scheme does not address the concerns whether the victims who have lost their eyes and limbs will be provided artificial limbs of good quality.
"Even the victims of the September 7, 2011, Delhi High Court blast were provided artificial limbs only after the court directed the government to do so," Bansal submitted.
The PIL further said the present system of compensation and rehabilitation of the members of the victims' families and those who receive serious and minor injuries is unsatisfatory, uneathical and unconstitutional and lacks any rule of law.
It also said there is no rehabilitation policy to ensure that communities severly affected by such incidents are set on a sustainable path for their long-term rebuilding and revitalisation.
It also sought provision for artificial limbs of good quality to the victims incapacitated in such incidents. PTI