Piyali Dutta vs State of West Bengal: Acid attack survivor granted compensation


W.P. 26174 of 2014 The Petitioner, Piyali Dutta, is an acid attack survivor who had written to the Chief Secretary, State of West Bengal requesting for interim compensation of Rs. 3 lakhs, pursuant to the acid attack. She received no response from the office of the Chief Secretary, and finding no other alternative, was constrained to file a writ petition before the High Court at Calcutta. The West Bengal State Legal Services Authority (SLSA) entered appearance in the case and took the stance that in 2009, an amendment was made to the Code of Criminal Procedure, which entitled “acid attack victims to compensation”, and in 2013, the Supreme Court passed a landmark judgment in Laxmi v. Union of India, regarding compensation for acid attack victims. The SLSA stated that since the acid attack on the Petitioner was in 2005, much before the two above-mentioned events, the Petitioner would not be eligible for any compensation. The matter came up for hearing before the High Court at Calcutta. The court observed that according to the West Bengal Victim Compensation Scheme, 2017, the State or the District Legal Services Authority is empowered to decide an application for grant of compensation under Section 357A(4). On  July 7, 2017, the court passed a judgement asking the 'appropriate authority' to pass orders on the compensation issue. Piyali was granted a compensation of Rs 3 Lakh in February, 2018.