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Status of Victim Assistance Program in India. Presentation by Sankar Sen, IPS (Retd.) Senior Fellow Institute of Social Sciences, 8, Nelson Mandela Marg, New Delhi – 110 070 Tel: 011-43158800, 9810321503 Telfax: 011-43158823/050, Email: [email protected]

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Status of

Victim Assistance Program

in India

Presentation by

Sankar Sen, IPS (Retd.)

Senior Fellow

Institute of Social Sciences, 8, Nelson Mandela Marg, New Delhi – 110 070

Tel: 011-43158800, 9810321503

Telfax: 011-43158823/050, Email: [email protected]


1. Victims are forgotten players in criminal justice system based on Anglo Saxon Adversarial pattern.

Concern with the rights of the accused during investigation and prosecution

– victims are marginalized.



3. system. Imperative need to empower them. If the victim feels nobody cares for their suffering, it is actually so because institutionally no one does. Over the last three and half decades emergence of the progressive school of thought in Germany, UK, Canada, USA which seeks to shift the focus of attention to the victim who really deserves redress.


4. system. Imperative need to empower them. If the victim feels nobody cares for their suffering, it is actually so because institutionally no one does. Emergence of the study of Victimology which seeks to study the characteristics of the victims, relationship between offenders and victims, contribution of victims towards crime precipitation and victimization surveys to provide correct crime statistics.


5. system. Imperative need to empower them. If the victim feels nobody cares for their suffering, it is actually so because institutionally no one does. United Nations General Assembly Declaration Justice for Victims and Abuse of Power adopted in November 1985. The Declaration recognizes the following rights of the victims of crime.


Cont...5 … system. Imperative need to empower them. If the victim feels nobody cares for their suffering, it is actually so because institutionally no one does.

(a) Restitution;

(b) Compensation;

(c) Assistance

– victims should receive necessary material, medical, psychological and social assistance through governmental and community based means.


6. system. Imperative need to empower them. If the victim feels nobody cares for their suffering, it is actually so because institutionally no one does. Victimization Surveys - second source of information an effective supplement to crime statistics.


Contn…6… system. Imperative need to empower them. If the victim feels nobody cares for their suffering, it is actually so because institutionally no one does.

(a) Victimization surveys done in India – surveys in Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi;

(b)Latest survey done in NCR by the Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi.


7. system. Imperative need to empower them. If the victim feels nobody cares for their suffering, it is actually so because institutionally no one does. Victims’ compensation refers to payments made from State funds to the victims of crime.

State is responsible for protecting its citizens from crime. The failure to do so obligates the state to indemnify those who are victimized.


8. system. Imperative need to empower them. If the victim feels nobody cares for their suffering, it is actually so because institutionally no one does. Victim Witness Assistance Program in USA responsible for reducing fear complex from the victims during court proceedings. Render valuable service in minimizing the difficulties and frustration of the victims – good Samaritans of the criminal justice system.


Contn…8.. system. Imperative need to empower them. If the victim feels nobody cares for their suffering, it is actually so because institutionally no one does.

(a) Germany had a long tradition of allowing victims a voice in the criminal justice process and victim assistance is the means of strengthening their voice;

(b) Victim Compensation Program in New Zealand in 1963. Similar laws were passed by Great Britain shortly thereafter.


Contn…8.. system. Imperative need to empower them. If the victim feels nobody cares for their suffering, it is actually so because institutionally no one does.

(c) Formation of National Association for Victim Assistance (NOVA) in 1975 in USA

(d) Presidential Task Force for victims of crime – Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) 1984.


  • India system. Imperative need to empower them. If the victim feels nobody cares for their suffering, it is actually so because institutionally no one does.

  • – No comprehensive legislation for assistance to victims except in the case of motor accidents and factory injuries.


Contn…9.. system. Imperative need to empower them. If the victim feels nobody cares for their suffering, it is actually so because institutionally no one does.

(a) Legislative framework, Section 357 of CrPC provides compensation for loss or injury suffered by the victims after a fine is imposed by the court. Section 357(3) makes way for payment of compensation even if fine does not form part of the punishment;

(b) In 1992 amendment of Section 357 by the UP Government if the victim is the member of Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe obligatory for the court to order compensation to the victim of crime.


10. system. Imperative need to empower them. If the victim feels nobody cares for their suffering, it is actually so because institutionally no one does. Judicial responses:

- Punjab vs Ajaib Singh,

(1995 - SCC 486)

- D.K. Basu vs. State of West Bengal, (1997 SCC 416)

- Rudul Shah vs. State of Bihar.


  • NHRCs role system. Imperative need to empower them. If the victim feels nobody cares for their suffering, it is actually so because institutionally no one does. – Illustrative case


12. Probation of Offenders Act Section 5. The court in its discretion may require the offender to pay reasonable compensation to the aggrieved for loss or injury caused to him.


13. discretion may require the offender to pay reasonable compensation to the aggrieved for loss or injury caused to him.Current trends

(a) Report of Malimath Committee;

(b) Bill prepared by the Society of Victimology in 1995;

(c) Amendment of the criminal procedure Section 357(A); Every state government shall prepare a scheme for providing funds for compensation to the victims or its dependents who have suffered loss as a result of crime and requires rehabilitation.


Justice Albie Sachs discretion may require the offender to pay reasonable compensation to the aggrieved for loss or injury caused to him.of South Africa

“Constructive healing and not destructive punishment should be the primary and foremost goal of victim policy and victim services”


Thank you for your attention
THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION discretion may require the offender to pay reasonable compensation to the aggrieved for loss or injury caused to him.

ANY QUESTIONS PLEASE

[email protected]

Sankar Sen, IPS (Retd.)

Former Director General - NHRC

Senior Fellow

Institute of Social Sciences

8 Nelson Mandela Road

Vasant Kunj, New Delhi – 110 070, INDIA

Tel: 0091-011-43158800


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