The Supreme Court asked the Centre on Wednesday to give details of utilization of money from the Nirbhaya fund that was created in the aftermath of the December 16 gangrape incident.
A bench headed by Justice MB Lokur issued the direction when senior advocate Indira Jaising claimed the fund, announced in 2013, has not helped the needy and is hardly utilized.
The fund, she said, was announced to work towards support initiatives of the government and NGOs working towards women safety. Every year budgetary allocation is made to the fund but the money is hardly used.
“What is the purpose of having a fund when it does not reach the needy hands. It is hardly utilised and the only purpose it appears to have been used is setting up of ‘one stop crisis centre’ in different states,” Jaising said.
Her arguments were contested by the Centre’s counsel who refuted her claim. The lawyer gave last year’s figures and said 16 proposals amounting to Rs 2,187 crore have been recommended.
Jaising is assisting the bench that is hearing petitions related to women’s safety filed after the gangrape incident. She informed the bench that even the Victim Compensation Scheme under the Criminal Procedure Code was not notified by all the states.
According to her there was no uniformity among the states as some like Goa paid Rs 10 lakh as compensation while some gave only Rs 50,000. Jainsing called for a uniform policy to provide relief to victims of sexual crime.
She said that some states though have schemes for victim compensation but the payment is not made due to shortage of funds or budgetary allocation.