Supreme Court tells Gujarat riots survivor Bilkis Bano she can demand higher compensation from Gujarat govt

The Supreme Court on Monday said Bilkis Bano, survivor of gangrape and 2002 Gujarat riots, can seek higher compensation from the government. The apex court said the petitioner must file a special leave petition (SLP) if they want an increase in compensation.

File image of Bilkis Bano. IBN Lokmat

File image of Bilkis Bano. IBN Lokmat

The Supreme Court also asked the Gujarat government to apprise it within four weeks whether any departmental action had been initiated or taken against the police officers whose conviction was upheld in the case.


The gangrape survivor had sought grant of adequate compensation and initiation of departmental action against the errant police officers.

Bilkis Yakoob Rasool, who was gangraped in March, 2002, while she was pregnant, had lost seven of her family members in the aftermath of the Godhra train burning incident.

The Bombay High Court had on 4 May upheld the conviction and life imprisonment of 12 people in the gangrape case, while setting aside the acquittal of seven people including policemen and doctors.

The bench had convicted seven persons, including five policemen and two doctors, for not performing their duties (sections 218) and tampering of evidence (section 201) under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The convicted policemen and doctors are Narpat Singh, Idris Abdul Saiyed, Bikabhai Patel, Ramsingh Bhabhor, Sombhai Gori, Arun Kumar Prasad (doctor) and Sangeeta Kumar Prasad (doctor).

A special court had on 21 January, 2008, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment 11 men in the case.


They later approached the Bombay High Court challenging their conviction and sought for the trial court's order to be quashed.

The CBI had also filed an appeal in the high court seeking harsher punishment of death for three of the convicted on the grounds that they were the main perpetrators of the crime.

According to the prosecution, on 3 March, 2002, Bilkis Bano's family was attacked by a mob at Randhikpur village near Ahmedabad during the post-Godhra riots and seven members of her family were killed.

Bilkis Bano, who was five-month pregnant at the time, was gangraped while six other members of her family managed to escape from the mob.

The trial in the case began in Ahmedabad. However, after Bilkis Bano expressed apprehensions that witnesses could be harmed and CBI evidence tampered, the Supreme Court transferred the case to Mumbai in August 2004.

With inputs from PTI

 


Published Date: Oct 23, 2017 11:53 am | Updated Date: Oct 23, 2017 06:04 pm



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