Rape Survivor Has Right To Accommodation Under Prime Minister Awas Yojana, Children Have Right To Free Education: Supreme Court

  • Dev Vrat Arya
  • 01:36 AM, 21 Jan 2021

While issuing directions upon a petition moved by a rape survivor being denied of accommodation, a 3 judge bench of Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice R. Subhash Reddy and Justice M.R. Shah have held that a rape survivor should be provided an accommodation under Prime Minister Awas Yojna or any other Central or State Schemes and the minor children of the woman should be ensured free education in any of the government organisation till they attain the age of 14.

Factual Matrix:
The petitioner was a member of a Schedule Tribe community of the State of Jharkhand. She filed a writ petition under Article 32 of the Indian Constitution.
In the petition she contended that being a rape survivor, she faced difficulty in finding an accommodation because her identity was disclosed by the media and now no one is ready to give her accommodation even on rent.

The petitioner also sought directions to the respondent for providing security for her and her children’s life. "The administration, media and society has compelled her to lead a life with no security, no job and no shelter in future," she averred.

Court's Observations:
On the grievance of identity disclosure by media, Court reproduced Section 228A IPC  “No person can print or publish in print, electronic, social media, etc. the name of the victim or even in a remote manner disclose any facts which can lead to the victim being identified and which should make her identity known to the public at large.”

The Hon’ble court in this case has observed the current situation of mental trauma and discrimination from society towards the petitioner. Court has referred to the case of Nipun Saxena and another vs. Union of India and others, (2019) 2 SCC 703, where the supreme court recognised the hostile discrimination and social ostracisation faced by a rape survivor.

Relying on the orders in the writ petition of Padma @ Shushma Badaik vs. The State of Jharkhand and others, court has ordered that the minor children of the petitioner are ensured free education in any Government Institution at Ranchi till they attain the age of 14.

Directions issued:

(1) The Deputy Commissioner, Ranchi is directed to ensure that minor children of the petitioner are provided free education in any of the Government Institutions in District Ranchi where the petitioner is residing till they attain the age of 14 years.

(2) The Deputy Commissioner, Ranchi to consider the case of the petitioner for providing house under Prime Minister Awas Yojna or any other Central or State Scheme in which petitioner could be provided accommodation.

(3) The Senior Superintendent of Police, Ranchi and other competent authority to review the Police security provided to the petitioner from time to time and take such measures as deem fit and proper.

(4) The District Legal Services Authority, Ranchi on representation made by the petitioner to render legal services to the petitioner as may be deemed fit to safeguard the interest of the petitioner.

Case Title: Ms. X v. State of Jharkhand | WP (CIVIL) NO. 1352 of 2019
Statute/Law involved: S.228A, S.376 IPC