By Sharvari Lohakare
Yash Giri, a final year law student through his Advocate on Record Mithilesh Kumar Singh has moved the Supreme Court and filed a PIL seeking enactment of a law for compensation and rehabilitation of the people who are acquitted, having been left to downhill in jails for years for wrongful prosecution and incarceration for years and years.
The PIL prays for interpretation of Section 2(wa), which defines the term ‘victim’, and Section 357-A of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (CrPC) which requires the State Government to, in coordination with the Central Government, prepare a scheme for providing funds for the purpose of compensation to the victim or his dependants who have suffered loss or injury as a result of the crime and who require rehabilitation.
The PIL has advanced that compensation and rehabilitation should be provided to a person who is acquitted after spending many years behind the bars as he becomes the ‘victim’ of the system naturally and that results in deterioration of his life afterwards. Such a person loses many important years of life already. This mostly happens when the person is wrongfully prosecuted and the delay in the legal system leads to accused languishing in jail, thus the same is violative of basic principles of Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
The petitioner urged the Apex court to grant compensation to such people in order to help them build a reputation in life ahead and pointed out that no compensation is given to people wrongfully prosecuted in most of the cases.
India has ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966(ICCPR), which advances that there is no sign of a statute which obligates the state in the case. The UNHRC discussed the Article 14 of the ICCPR in detail in its General Comment No. 32(2007) and put forward that it is necessary that States parties enact legislation ensuring that compensation as required by this provision can in fact be paid and the payment is made within a reasonable time.
Thus, the plea draws attention to the data given by National Crime Relations Bureau which shows that across the country, under trial prisoners continue to be higher in numbers than the convict’s population. The report also reflects that the conviction rate was at 48% and more than 50% was that of acquittal.
The sole purpose of the petitioner and his PIL is to throw light on the agony faced by the victims of the state after they come out of the bars and start a life. It appeals the Apex court to consider the same and grant necessary rehabilitation to those who have suffered.