Report No. 152
7. Compensation on no fault basis
Issue No. 7
Should there be provision for the award of compensation by the Government on no fault basis in the case of death or injury caused to a person? If so, what would be the appropriate amount to be fixed? Should the Court trying the aforesaid delinquent officer have the power to award final compensation to the victim or the dependents of the victim, notwithstanding their right to obtain damages in tort before Civil Court?
Views of Academicians
Both the academicians agree with the proposal of compensation. They have suggested payment of compensation. One of them suggested that the compensation should not be on the basis of earning and status as in matters of accident cases. He has suggested compensation of Rs. 5,00,000 in case of death, Rs. 3,00,000 in case of crippling and Rs. 1,00,000 for minor injury.
Views of judges
All the Judges except a one have supported the proposal of compensation. Two of them are of the view that compensation should be on no fault basis. One of the Judges has suggested the amount of Rs. 50,000 in case of injury, between Rs. 2,00,000 to Rs. 5,00,000 in case of death. One judge is against any such move and he is of the view that State should not be made liable to pay compensation and the other has not responded to the issue.
Views of Advocates
All the six Advocates are in favour of compensation. Two of them recommended it in addition to civil remedy under torts. They want a public compensation system. The other two Advocates are of the view that the quantum of compensation should be determined judicially, while the fifth one has mentioned that the compensation should be fixed one.
Sixth opinion is that quantum must depend on the nature of injury and liability of victim. One of the senior Advocates, Shri Anand Prakash is of the view that there should also be a scheme for rewards and compensation for exemplary work and for injuries received to a Police officer on duty.
Views of Police Officers
All the twelve police officers have supported the cause of compensation but on no fault basis. One officer has suggested Rs. 25,000 and Rs. 1,00,000 respectively in the case of injury and death. The other has reduced this figure to Rs. 25,000 and Rs. 50,000 respectively.
Views of State Governments/Union Territories
All the nine State Governments/Union Territories are in favour of paying compensation when a prima facie case is made out. One of these is not in favour of recovery of the money from the delinquent police officer. The other one says that Government should not pay the compensation and the individual police officer should pay the amount as per his financial condition and capability.
The Government of Andhra Pradesh is of the view that the provision for payment of compensation to the custodial victims is necessary. It accepts the proposal of the Law Commission. Further, it highlights that in cases where a commission appointed by the Government finds the police officer in a particular custodial crime to be guilty, the departmental enquiries are resulting in these officers, in exoneration. According to the Government, it will be a travesty of justice.
It suggests that where a departmental officer imposes a minor penalty like stopping of increments, censure etc., the head of the department should report the matter to the Government so that where the Government is satisfied that the punishment is not in proportion to the gravity, should review the punishment. The Government of Mizoram endorses this view.
The Government of Karnataka is of the view that there is no need for a separate provision under the statute for awarding compensation. There should not be a parallel proceedings in the civil courts for claiming damages.
The Government of Pandicherry is of the opinion that the court trying the delinquent officer should have the power to award final 'compensation and not the civil court. If the victim is not satisfied with final award, he may seek redress in appellate court and not in a civil court?