HC asks govt to pay Rs 4 lakh damage to rape victims father

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court on Monday directed the state government to pay compensation to the father of a minor girl who was raped and murdered by her school teacher in 2008.

Expressing anguish over the incident, the Division Bench of Chief Justice V Gopal Gowda and Justice B N Mohapatra said the loss to the family was "irreparable" and held the state "responsible and liable to pay compensation."

"Pay compensation of Rs four lakh to the father of the victim," the bench directed the state government in its order while allowing a writ petition of the victim`s father Biranchi Narayan Sahu of Polsara in Ganjam district.

Biranchi`s 12-year-old daughter, a student of Class VII in local Nimina Project UP School was found dead in the school toilet on September 30, 2008. Subsequently police investigations revealed that she was raped before being strangulated to death.

Registering a case of rape and murder, police arrested Santha Charan Patnaik (57), a teacher in the same school who had absconded from the area after the deplorable incident.

Later the Ganjam district sessions court holding trial in the case found the teacher guilty and he was sentenced to life imprisonment after conviction on July 27, 2010.

But the father of the girl, seeking a direction to the state government for giving him compensation, approached the high court. Appearing for the petitioner, advocate Prabir Das said that in the case the Right to Life and Right to Dignity of the victim as well as her parents were infringed.

Objecting to the plea of the petitioner, the state government counsel maintained that Orissa had already ensured the accused was convicted and punished and was therefore not liable pay any compensation to the victim`s family, adding that the district administration had during the time of performing the last rites of the victim, paid Rs 10,000 to the family.

Dismissing the government`s stand, the high court allowed the petition`s prayer for more compensation and accordingly directed the state government to pay Rs four lakh to the father of the victim.