Rape and molestation accused in Haryana will not benefit from state schemes, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced today. The agrarian state, which featured at number three in World Bank’s recent report on ‘ease of doing business’ and which brings the largest number of medals in the country, is struggling with atrocities against women.
A large number of rapes, gang-rapes and cases of molestation are reported from Haryana, the launchpad of the BJP’s ambitious “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao” scheme.
The government is taking measures to curb crime against women by enhancing safety cover and ensuring stricter punishment for the accused. And now, Haryana has decided to stall all government benefits being given to any person who is accused of rape or molestation.
Chief Minister Khattar, while addressing a women welfare programme in Panchkula today, said that under the new rule, except for ration, persons accused of rape or molestation will not get old-age or disability pension, state scholarships and other benefits till the court verdict. Their driving and arms licences will also be suspended. And if the courts find them guilty, all these schemes will be cancelled for them.
“The benefits will be stalled until the verdict of the case is out. If the person is convicted, the benefits will be completely taken away,” Mr Khattar said.
The chief minister also promised to provide up to Rs 22,000 to rape survivors if they want private lawyers to fight for them.
The police officers are expected to finish their investigation in rape cases within a month and cases of molestation in 15 days, Mr Khattar said.
Fast-track courts will also be set up in districts where more than 50 cases of rape and molestation are registered. Four such courts will soon start hearings in Gurugram, Panipat , Sonepat, Nuh and two in Faridabad.
This comes months after the Haryana government’s decision to give death penalty to those convicted of raping minor girls. In March this year, the Haryana Assembly had unanimously passed a Bill which provides for death penalty to those found guilty of raping girls aged 12 years or less.