Source - Bar and Bench
The Delhi High Court has directed that after conviction, convicts shall file an affidavit disclosing their assets, income and expenditure to enable the trial courts to arrive at the compensation payable to victims.
Following the affidavit, a Victim Impact Report (VIR) shall be filed by Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) in every criminal case after a summary inquiry, the Court has said. Thereafter, the trial court concerned shall consider the Victim Impact Report, the paying capacity of the accused, expenditure incurred on the prosecution and the submissions of the parties to award the compensation to the victim(s) as well as the cost of prosecution to the State. The Court has consequently held that the Section 357(3) CrPC is mandatory.
"Section 357 CrPC confers a duty on the Court to apply its mind on the question of compensation in every criminal case.", it is said. The order was passed by a Full Bench of the High Court comprising Justices JR Midha, Rajnish Bhatnagar and Brijesh Sethi in a batch of appeals concerning a conviction under Section 302/34 IPC. If the accused does not have the capacity to pay the compensation or the compensation awarded against the accused is not adequate, from the Victim Compensation Fund under the Delhi Victims Compensation Scheme, 2018. The Court has also provided that in pending appeals in which Section 357 CrPC for payment of compensation has not been complied with, the Public Prosecutor shall file an application for the compliance of the procedure laid down by it. The format of the affidavit to be submitted by the convict and the Victim Impact Report is annexed with the judgment. The Court also held that the High Court has both judicial and administrative power to regulate administration of justice, as well as the appointment, posting, promotion and transfer of the judicial officers.