NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today asked the Gujarat government to pay compensation of Rs 50 lakh to Bilkis Bano.
The court, while hearing a plea of Bilkis Bano, also directed the Gujarat Government to provide her a government job and accommodation as per rules.
The state government had offered an interim compensation of Rs 5 lakh to Bano.
Bilkis Yakub Rasool was 19 years old and pregnant when she was gang-raped during the 2002 Gujarat riots. The horrifying incidents occurred in Randhikpur village near Dahod on March 3, 2002 when she and her family was attacked by a mob.
Only Bilkis Bano and her two relatives, Saddam and Husain, survived the savagery. Her mother, sister, minor daughter, and other relatives were killed.
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.