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University Institute of Legal Studies, Panjab University, Chandigarh is organizing a National Seminar on Reparative and Restorative Justice for Victims of Crime: Issues and Solutions under the guidance of Prof. (Dr.) Rajinder Kaur, Director, University Institute of Legal Studies, Panjab University, Chandigarh and Dr. Pushpinder Kaur, Associate Professor (Law), University Institute of Legal Studies, Panjab University, Chandigarh.
Victims of crime have been neglected in the context of criminal justice proceedings throughout the world until the past few decades. The priority of criminal justice since the beginning had been to prosecute and punish the accused for the crimes committed by him. It is after World War II that the plight of victims subjected to violence and sexual abuse came to notice. Maintenance of law and order, peace and order, and security of the state are a few of the main functions of the state, but the focus of law and policy always cannot only be the perpetrators of the crime. The victims of crime may suffer from loss of life; go through physical pain, mental harassment, humiliation, torture, constraints on their liberty and dignity, loss of property, etc. The most common penalties imposed under the Indian Penal Code and various special and local laws apart from the death penalty have been imprisonment and fine. The purpose of inflicting these penalties apart from reformation has been to penalise, prevent and deter the offenders from indulging in criminal activities.
The victims of crimes have to go through the pain and agony for the injuries, losses, and harms caused to them. Recognising the importance of setting minimum standards in the delivery of justice to the victims of crime, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power in 1985. Efforts have been made by the USA, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Europe, and various Asian countries to respect the rights of the Victim.
Apex Court in case of Chairman Railway Board versus Chandrima Das (2000 (2) SCC 465) keeping in mind the plight of a victim of crime made an order for the paying compensation to the victims of rape. Criminal statistics in India report high incidents of rape, bride burning, acid attacks, human trafficking, etc. To live a normal life many times become next to impossible for these victims. The loss of physical appearance, deformities caused by the violence committed against them, stigma and humiliation attached to some of the offenses becomes a hindrance in leading a normal life.
Keeping in mind the concept of reparative justice amendments have been made in the India Penal Code 1860 and the Criminal Procedure Code 1973. The Legal Service Authority Act, 1987 has established the National Legal Service Authority, the State Legal Service Authority, and the District Legal Service Authority to provide an opportunity for securing justice to weaker sections of the society so that justice is not denied to any person due to economic or other disability. From time to time, these authorities do provide compensation to the victims of crime, have also adopted various Victim Compensation Schemes. Provision of paying compensation for loss of life, gang rape, rape, unnatural offence, loss of limb, miscarriage as a result of assault, acid attack, victims of violence/lynching, burning, cross border firing, etc. has been made under these Schemes.
The victims of violence, rape, acid attack go through various macro and micro-surgeries the cost of which runs into lakhs, the compensation awarded to them turns out to be inadequate. Some provisions of IPC like Section 326-A also provide for payment of the fine by the accused to the victim of the crime and also state that it (fine) should be just and reasonable to meet the medical expenses of the victim, but what is just and reasonable has not the specifically defined in the Code.
In some countries like Canada, the Victim Compensation is very widely interpreted to include medical expenses (i.e. prescription fees, ambulance rides, dental work), mental health/counselling expense, compensation for pain and suffering, support for a child born as a result of a sexual assault, lost wages for incapacitated or disabled victims, lost support for dependents of victims, funeral expenses, rehabilitation for disabled victims, expenses to obtain documents, expenses to attend hearings, services to replace work in the home previously performed by the victim, property loss/damage, etc. It is need of the hour to broaden the heads of victim compensation also in India so that victims of crime may be adequately compensated.
Rehabilitation of victims of crime is also one of the biggest challenges, especially the victims of acid attack, rape, women who bear children as a result of rape, human trafficking (when family members refuse to accept the victim), persons who suffer disability due to assault etc. No provision of forfeiture of moveable and immovable properties of the accused/convict has been made in the India Penal Laws. Lack of reporting, taking the cases to any logical conclusion, are other challenges faced by the victims of crime.
To ponder over the limitations and deficiencies of the existing legal, social, political, and economic arrangements and to find the way forward, the University Institute of Legal Studies, Panjab University, Chandigarh has planned to organise one day National Seminar on Reparative and Restorative Justice for Victims of Crime: Issues and Solutions on 4th April 2021.
- Victims of Crime and Reparative and Rehabilitative Justice Historical Perspective
- Victims of Crime Reparative and Rehabilitative Justice International Trends
- Impact of Crime on Victims and Rehabilitative Challenges
- Legislative and Judicial Initiatives for Restorative Justice to Victims of Crime
- Adequacy of Victim Compensation, Awards, and Benefits
- Emergency/Interim Awards to Victims of Crime
- Procedural Impediments in availing Victim Compensation Schemes
- Victim Service Institutions: Governmental and Non-Governmental Organisation
Call for Papers
Research papers are invited from the academicians, practitioners, research scholars and students on the issues related to the themes. The quality-based selected paper with similarity index less than 10% will be considered for publication in the form of an E-Book with International Standards Book Number. Only full papers submitted on or before the deadline shall be considered for publication. The authors of selected abstracts will be given an opportunity to present their papers during various sessions on the day of the Webinar.
Guidelines for Paper Submission
The abstract should not contain more than 200-300 words along with the particulars of the author indicating his email id, contact number, and address for correspondence. A paper cannot have more than two co-authors.
The Word Limit of paper is 4000-4500 words (excluding footnotes). The format is Times New Roman, Font Size 12, 1.5 line spacing, on an A4 sheet with 1” margin on all sides, to be sent in .doc/.docx format. A uniform style of citation must be strictly adhered to while submitting the paper. The abstracts and papers should be sent to [email protected].
- Last Date of Submission of Abstract: 10th March 2021 [Extended]
- Full Paper Submission (Soft Copy): 25th March 2021 [Extended]
- Seminar Date: 4th April 2021
- Sachin: +91-94669 66692, +91-81685 65294
- Chetana: +91-87088 62049
- Anmol Mittal: +91-95411 49405
- Aman Dubey: +91-99155 85829
- Harpreet Kaur: +91-62397 66992
Reported by: Vaibhav Goyal
Head, Ad-Hoc Committee, University Institute of Legal Studies, Panjab University