Delhi HC directs DLSA to consider request of woman with 60% petrol burns seeking enhanced compensation


The Delhi high court has directed the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) to consider and respond to the claims of a survivor of petrol burns for enhanced compensation. The survivor in the case is Tanuja, who was 16-years-old when an acquaintance, Ravi, who had propositioned marriage to her poured petrol on her and lit her on fire. Tanuja was taken to Jaipur Golden Hospital where she was diagnosed with 60% burn injuries, including injuries on the left side of her face, neck, chest, hands, legs and impairment in the right ear. She had to undergo multiple reconstructive surgeries, the medical expenditure of which forced the family to exhaust all their savings, borrow loans and incur huge debts. After several representations, she received an interim compensation of Rs 3 lakhs, but did not receive any other financial assistance from the government. The costs of her medical treatment had long exceeded the amount of Rs 3 lakhs, and they will continue for the rest of her life since her skin is susceptible to infections and she needs constant medication and care. Therefore, the petition said, she is no condition to continue treatment without financial assistance from the government. Therefore, HRLN filed a writ petition in the Delhi high court seeing the payment of enhanced compensation of Rs 10 lakhs for the cost Tanuja already incurred on treatment, and for her rehabilitation including physical and mental trauma suffered by her, including the loss of employment and educational opportunities, and the social stigma she faces potentially for her whole life. It should be noted that Tanuja had made an application to the DLSA for enhanced compensation but had not received any response from them. In response to the petition, the high court directed DLSA to consider the victim’s claim for required compensation and to take an appropriate decision and disposed of the petition.