Mumbai: Courts of law are not only obliged to award compensation to victims of crime but also have the legal duty to compensate a victim for the loss and injury caused due to an act or omission on part of the other party, the Aurangabad bench of Bombay High Court has said.
A division bench of Justices Vibha Kankanwadi and Abhay Waghwase on November 6 directed the District Legal Services Authority of Jalgaon to take effective steps for compensation or rehabilitation of two minor boys who were rendered orphans after their mother was burnt to death by their father.
The HC upheld the 2017 conviction of the 35-year-old man for murdering his wife after she refused to give him money to purchase liquor. An advocate appointed to appear for the two boys informed the court that the since the children's mother was dead and their father was in jail, both of them were being taken care of by their grandmother.
The advocate sought compensation for the two children relying on section 357A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which says the government shall pay compensation or rehabilitation to victims of crimes. The HC bench while agreeing to this said, Courts of law are not only obliged to exercise their power to award compensation but also have the legal duty to compensate a victim for the loss and injury inflicted as a result of an act or omission on part of the other party.
The court directed the District Legal Services Authority, Jalgaon, to conduct an enquiry and thereafter, take effective steps for either compensation or rehabilitation of both the children. The authority shall ascertain whereabouts of the children, their educational and financial status and then take appropriate steps for meaningful rehabilitation, the high court said.
It dismissed the man's appeal and said the woman's dying declaration and the witness statement given by one of the sons of the couple proved his guilt in the case. The bench said the dying declaration given by the woman was consistent as she said her husband had set her ablaze after she refused to give him money.
We are convinced that the dying declaration carries no infirmity so as to discard or doubt it, the high court said. The bench also said it does not find any reason to discard or doubt the statement given by one of the children of the deceased woman and the accused. We find that his evidence is inspiring confidence, the HC said.