SC orders Gujarat govt to pay riots victim Bilkis Bano Rs 50 lakh in two weeks
New Delhi, Sep 30: The Supreme Court has ordered the Gujarat government to pay Rs 50 lakh to Bilkis Bano within 2 weeks. The court also asked the government to provide accommodation to Bano, who is a Gujarat riots victim.
Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi asked the government as to why the amount was not paid as yet. Solicitor General, Tushar Mehta however told the court that they intend to file a review against the order of compensation.
The court however ordered that the compensation be paid and accommodation be provided. Following this Mehta undertook to implement the order in two weeks.
Bilkis, five months pregnant at that time, was gang raped while six other members of her family managed to escape from the mob. The trial in the case initially began in Ahmedabad.
However, after Bano expressed apprehensions that the witnesses could be harmed and the CBI evidence tampered with, the apex court transferred the case to Mumbai in August 2004.
The high court had on May 4, 2017 convicted seven people -- five policemen and two doctors -- under sections 218 (not performing their duties) and section 201 (tampering of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The top court had on July 10, 2017 dismissed the appeals of two doctors and four policemen, including an IPS officer R S Bhagora, challenging their conviction by the high court saying there was "clear-cut evidence" against them. One of the officers did not appeal.
A special court had on 21 January, 2008 convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment 11 men for raping Bano and murdering seven of her family members in the aftermath of the Godhra riots, while acquitting seven persons including the policemen and doctors.
The convicts had later approached the Bombay High Court challenging their conviction and sought quashing and setting aside of the trial court.
The CBI had also filed an appeal in the high court seeking harsher punishment of death for three of the convicted persons on the ground that they were the main perpetrators of the crime.
According to the prosecution, on March 3, 2002 Bilkis Bano's family was attacked by a mob at Randhikpur village near Ahmedabad.
The convicts had challenged the order on three main grounds that all evidence in the case was fabricated by CBI, that Bilkis gave birth to a child after the incident, proving that she could not have been gang raped, and the failure to find the bodies of some of her family members which proved that they were not killed.