Bilkis Bano case : Supreme Court directs Gujarat government to give Rs 50 lakh compensation, job and accommodation

The Supreme Tuesday directed the Gujarat government to give Rs 50 lakh compensation, a job and accommodation to Bilkis Bano who was gang raped during the 2002 riots in the state.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Rajan Gogoi was informed by the Gujarat government that action has been taken against the erring police officials in the case.

The bench, also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, was informed by the state’s counsel that pension benefits of the erring officials have been stopped and the IPS officer who was convicted by the Bombay High Court in the case has been demoted by two ranks.

Bano had earlier refused to accept the offer of Rs 5 lakh and had sought exemplary compensation from the state government in a plea before the top court.

The top court had earlier asked the Gujarat government to take disciplinary action in two weeks against the erring police officials, including an IPS officer, convicted by the Bombay High Court in the case.

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.

Bilkis Bano case: Supreme Court asks Gujarat government to take action against erring cops in two weeks

The Supreme Court Friday asked the Gujarat government to take disciplinary action in two weeks against the erring police officials, including an IPS officer, convicted by the Bombay High Court in the sensational Bilkis Bano gang rape case during the 2002 riots in the state.

Besides, Bano in a plea before the top court sought exemplary compensation from the state government, refusing to accept its offer of Rs 5 lakh.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna asked the Gujarat government to complete the disciplinary action within two weeks initiated against the erring officials indicted by the Bombay High Court.

“On the statement made by the Solicitor General, Tushar Mehta, appearing for the State of Gujarat, that the proceedings for disciplinary action against the erring officers will be completed within two weeks, we adjourn the matter for two weeks.

“On the next date, the orders passed in the disciplinary proceedings be placed before the Court,” the bench said.

The top court, terming the Rs 5 lakh compensation offered by the Gujarat government ‘interim’, said the plea for exemplary compensation will be heard on April 23.

“Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General appearing for the State has offered an interim compensation of Rs 5 lakh, which counsel for the petitioner is reluctant to accept and instead prays for final disposal of the special leave petition. Let the special leave petition be listed on April 23, 2019,” it said.

At the outset, Advocate Shobha Gupta, appearing for Bano, said that no action has been taken by the state government against the erring officials, who were convicted by the high court.

She said that one IPS officer, currently serving in Gujarat is set to retire this year, while in case of four other officials who have retired no action has been taken against them like stopping of their pensions and retirement benefits.

The counsel further said that these police officers were convicted by the high court for botching up the investigation in the case.

With regard to compensation, she contended that Bano has been leading almost a nomadic life after being subjected to gruesome crime and therefore exemplary compensation should be granted.

Gupta said she is not willing to accept the interim compensation of Rs 5 lakh offered by the state government.

Senior advocate Tushar Mehta, appearing for the state government said that disciplinary proceedings are going on against the erring police officials.

He said that it will be completed soon but the top court asked him to complete the proceedings within two weeks.

On the compensation part, Mehta said that state government has a policy of granting Rs 5 lakh as compensation in such incidents.

The bench said it will hear the plea for compensation on April 23.

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.

SC grants time to Gujarat to apprise it on action against cops in Bilkis Bano case

SC grants time to Gujarat to apprise it on action against cops in Bilkis Bano case
SC grants time to Gujarat to apprise it on action against cops in Bilkis Bano case

The Supreme Court today granted six weeks time to the Gujarat government for apprising it on whether any disciplinary action has been initiated against policemen convicted in the 2002 Bilkis Bano gangrape case.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, considered the submission of Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the state government, that some more time be given to get instruction on the authorities concerned in the case.

The bench listed the plea for hearing in the first week of January.

The bench, however, made it clear that the separate plea, seeking enhancement of compensation to be awarded to Bilkis Bano, would be taken up next week for hearing.

The apex court had already granted time, on October 23, to the state government to apprise it whether any departmental action had been initiated or taken against police officers whose conviction was upheld in the Bilkis Bano gangrape case.

The Bombay High Court had on May 4 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.

Bilkis Bano, who was gang-raped in March, 2002, while she was pregnant, lost seven of her family members in the aftermath of the Godhra train burning incident.

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 January 21, 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 March 3, 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.

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.

( Source – PTI )

SC refuses to stay conviction of IPS officer in Bilkis case

SC refuses to stay conviction of IPS officer in Bilkis case
SC refuses to stay conviction of IPS officer in Bilkis case

The Supreme Court today refused to stay the conviction of an IPS officer in the sensational 2002 Bilkis Bano case.

A vacation bench of Justices A K Sikri and Deepak Gupta said that there is no urgency for hearing the matter as the convicted officer has already undergone the sentence.

The bench, however, listed the matter for hearing in the second week of July, observing the fine is of Rs 15,000 only.

IPS officer R S Bhagora, currently serving in Gujarat, has been convicted along with four other policemen by the Bombay High Court recently after the trial court had acquitted them.

The counsel appearing for Bhagora said if the conviction is not stayed, then he will be terminated from the service as per service rules.

He said the court should grant stay on the conviction.

The Bombay High Court had on May 4 reversed the trial court verdict acquitting Bhagora and others and had upheld the conviction of 11 people (one convict is dead) in the Bilkis Bano gang rape case.

Along with five policemen, two doctors were also convicted by the HC.

The High Court bench had said that the seven persons — doctors and the policemen– are convicted under sections 218 (not performing their duties) and section 201 (tampering of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

A special court had on 21 January, 2008 convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment 11 men for raping Bilkis 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 later approached the Bombay high court challenging their conviction and sought for the trial court’s order to be quashed and set aside.

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 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, who was five months pregnant at the time, was gang raped while six other members of her family managed to escape from the mob. The trial in the case began in Ahmedabad.

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

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, thus, the same proved that she could not have been gang raped, and the failure to find the bodies of some of her family members proves that they were not killed.

( Source – PTI )

SC refuses to stay conviction of IPS officer in Bilkis case

SC refuses to stay conviction of IPS officer in Bilkis case
SC refuses to stay conviction of IPS officer in Bilkis case

The Supreme Court today refused to stay the conviction of an IPS officer in the sensational 2002 Bilkis Bano case.

A vacation bench of Justices A K Sikri and Deepak Gupta said that there is no urgency for hearing the matter as the convicted officer has already undergone the sentence.

The bench, however, listed the matter for hearing in the second week of July, observing the fine is of Rs 15,000 only.

IPS officer R S Bhagora, currently serving in Gujarat, has been convicted along with four other policemen by the Bombay High Court recently after the trial court had acquitted them.

The counsel appearing for Bhagora said if the conviction is not stayed, then he will be terminated from the service as per service rules.

He said the court should grant stay on the conviction.

The Bombay High Court had on May 4 reversed the trial court verdict acquitting Bhagora and others and had upheld the conviction of 11 people (one convict is dead) in the Bilkis Bano gang rape case.

Along with five policemen, two doctors were also convicted by the HC.

The High Court bench had said that the seven persons — doctors and the policemen– are convicted under sections 218 (not performing their duties) and section 201 (tampering of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

A special court had on 21 January, 2008 convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment 11 men for raping Bilkis 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 later approached the Bombay high court challenging their conviction and sought for the trial court’s order to be quashed and set aside.

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 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, who was five months pregnant at the time, was gang raped while six other members of her family managed to escape from the mob. The trial in the case began in Ahmedabad.

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

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, thus, the same proved that she could not have been gang raped, and the failure to find the bodies of some of her family members proves that they were not killed.

( Source – PTI )