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Rape relief, within weeks

New Delhi, Oct. 23: Within weeks of a rape, the government will hand the victim an interim relief of Rs 20,000 and upgrade the amount to up to Rs 2 lakh once rape has been established.

The victim will also receive legal aid and protection during trial. The government will help her resume a normal and fruitful life by providing counselling and ' if she is young ' by arranging for her education and professional training. It will also help her find a job.

Each district in the country will have a three-member board, headed by the district magistrate, to implement the “scheme for relief and rehabilitation of victims of rape, 2005”, being lent the final touches by the National Commission for Women.

The board must ensure a rape victim gets psychological and medical help. The legal aid will start from the time the FIR is filed and continue through the trial.

At least one member of the board must be present when doctors examine the victim and every time the police question her.

The Rs 20,000 interim relief, the scheme says, should be provided by the board within three weeks of “receiving the application and after having been prima facie satisfied that a case of rape has been made out”.

The move comes 10 years after the Supreme Court asked the Centre to evolve a policy to help rape victims, who are often in need of medical, psychological and financial aid.

“We had drafted a scheme in 1995 after the Supreme Court directive,” said Jogesh Mehta, legal consultant with the women’s commission. “But the cabinet wanted us to clarify some points.”

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