Punjab HC directs State Government to award compensation to orphans
Baby Kajal and another Vs. State of Punjab Synopsis Baby Kajal and her brother Badal at the relevant time i.e. in the year 2013 were 6 and 4 years old respectively. Their mother used to work as a domestic help and their father was a truck driver. He was an alcoholic and had almost abandoned the family. The mother of the Petitioner was not paid her remuneration by her employer in the year 2013. On insisting for the same at the residence of her employer, he got furious and poured diesel on the Mother. She was taken to hospital by some neighbour, where she succumbed to injuries after struggling around 18 days. Despite all efforts of the father he could not get could get FIR registered for the deceased. On moving the court for the rehabilitation of the children the State changed its stance and stated that the deceased mother of the children herself had committed suicide therefore the kids are not entitled to get compensation or rehabilitation by the State. The Petitioner prayed that they are victims of crime irrespective who committed the same either by the employer or by their mother. They are ultimately orphans and in the circumstances they are the children who are in need of care and protection. The State is now their guardian. And thus should be entitled to compensation. The petitioners, who claim having been orphaned on account of death of their mother by burning, are victims who would be entitled to compensation under the Punjab Victim or the Dependents Compensation Scheme, 2011. This is for providing funds for the purpose of compensation to the victims who have suffered injuries as a result of the crime and who require rehabilitation as per Section 357 (2) Cr.P.C to be granted compensation by the District Legal Service Authority or the State Legal Service Authority under the Scheme. A dispute has been raised by the State counsel that the Petitioners will not fall under the said Scheme as a perpetrators of the crime are not traced and identified and no trial has taken place. However, the above said scheme is a social legislation and is to be construed liberally. These children are in need of care and protection. The State is now their guardian. Status Vide order dated 15.5.2017, the children have been granted Rs. 2 lakh each as interim compensation under the Punjab Victim or the Dependents Compensation Scheme, 2011.