The Delhi High Court in a recent order said that a child born out of rape in also a victim and is thus entitled to compensation from the offender.
"A child born out of rape, either of a minor or a woman who is an adult, is clearly a victim of the act by the offender and entitled to compensation independent of the amount of compensation paid to his/her mother," the HC said, according to a The New Indian Express report.
The HC bench was hearing the appeal by Gaya Prasad Pal, a man who was convicted for raping his 14-year-old daughter, impregnating her and also intimidating her. A trial court had convicted Pal and the HC upheld both the judgment and sentence of life imprisonment for him.
The Indian Express reported that the while giving its order, the HC cited Section 357 of the CrPC and POCSO Act which deals with provisions of compensation for victims of sexual offences, stating that a child born out of rape would be "covered under the definition of both victim as well as dependent on the victim".
"This is the first time that rights of a child born out of rape have been considered. So far, we had been struggling to get compensation for the rape victims, since courts are reluctant to grant it till the trial is over," Bharti Ali, co-director of a child rights NGO, told IE.
The rape victim daughter gave birth to a boy in 2014 and the child was put up for adoption.
The High Court however, ironically, reduced the compensation amount to the rape victim from Rs 15 lakh to Rs 7.5 lakh stating that higher amount was not in accordance with the Delhi government's 2011 compensation scheme.
The HC also said that the identity of victims in sexual offences cases should not be disclosed on judicial record and pseudonyms can be used to refer to the victims, the NIE report added. "The identity of the child does not mean only the name, but includes the identity of family, school, relatives, neighbourhood or any other information by which his/her identity may stand exposed," the division bench said in its December 9 judgment.