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Thursday, December 05, 2019

Give Bilkis Bano job, compensation in two weeks: SC to Gujarat

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the state, why it had not complied with its April 23 order regarding compensation.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: October 1, 2019 4:26:48 am
Give Bilkis Bano job, compensation in two weeks: SC to Gujarat Bilkis Bano at a press confrence in New Delhi. (Express photo by Anil Sharma/File)

The Supreme Court on Monday gave the Gujarat government two more weeks to comply with its direction to provide compensation of Rs 50 lakh, a job and accommodation to Bilkis Bano. who was gangraped during the 2002 post-Gondhra communal riots.

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the state, why it had not complied with its April 23 order regarding compensation.

Mehta replied that the state was planning to file a review in view of the fact that the amount has not been mentioned in the victim compensation scheme.

The bench however, ordered that the state must comply with its direction within two weeks.

To which, Mehta said the order may be cited in other cases and requested the court to specify that it order was in keeping with the peculiar facts of the case.

The bench agreed to this and said so in the order.

On April 23, the top court had ordered the compensation for Bano saying, “It is very apparent that what should not have happened, has happened and the state has to give compensation.”

It had given the state government two weeks to issue the compensation.

In March, Bano had declined to accept a compensation of Rs 5 lakh awarded by the state and had sought an enhancement.

A pregnant Bilkis Bano was gangraped on March 3, 2002 in Randhikpur village, while fleeing the riots that broke out in the aftermath of the Godhra train burning and fourteen members of her family were killed.

The trial court, while sentencing 11 persons to life imprisonment in the case on January 21, 2008, had acquitted five policemen and two government doctors. The convicts went in appeal to the High Court against the trial court order.

The HC order referred to the “laxity” and “failures” of the police in the registration and investigation of the case. It upheld the convictions and also set aside the acquittal of the five policemen, holding them guilty under sections 218 (public servant framing incorrect record with intent to save person from punishment) and section 201 (tampering with evidence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

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