Gujarat Government had said at the outset that the state had given the Gujarat riots victim Bilkis Bano a sum of Rs. 50 Lakhs and a government job when on September 30 last year the Supreme court had directed that the Gujarat government to give within two weeks Rs 50 lakh compensation, a job and an accommodation of choice to Bano. However, Bilkis Bano informed the top court that the state government is paying only lip service
The Gujarat government on Monday told the Supreme Court that it has paid Rs 50 lakh and a job was given to Bilkis Bano, who was gang raped when she was five months pregnant during the 2002 riots in the state.
On September 30, 2019 the top court had directed that the Gujarat government to give within two weeks Rs 50 lakh compensation, a job and an accommodation of choice to Bano.
Bilkis Bano however refuted the claims and said that the state government has done only lip service in the name of compliance of the orders of the top court.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Gujarat government, said “This petition is misconceived.” However, a Bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, said the court would hear the matter after one week.
At the outset, Mehta said that the state has given Rs 50 lakh and job to Bano as directed by the court and opposed the plea.
Bano, in her application filed through advocate Shobha Gupta, said that in place of accommodation, the state government has given only 50 square metre land which is notified in records as garden area zone.
She said that as far as job is concerned, the state government has offered her a job of peon in irrigation department on contract basis for a particular project in fixed pay grade.
The top court had asked the Gujarat government as to why it has not complied with the apex court’s earlier order of April 23, 2019 and given the compensation to Bano.
She had earlier told the top court that despite its order the Gujarat government has not provided anything to her.
The top court had clarified that its April order giving Rs 50 lakh compensation, a job and an accommodation to Bano was passed keeping in view the peculiar facts of the case.
It had in April last year directed the state government to pay the compensation to Bano within two weeks.
The top court had also asked the state government to withdraw the pensionary benefits given to erring police officials involved in the case.
Bano had earlier refused to accept the offer of Rs five lakh and sought an exemplary compensation from the state government in a plea before the top court.
According to the prosecution, on March 3, 2002, Bano’s family was attacked by a mob at Randhikpur village near Ahmedabad in the aftermath of the Godhra riots.
Bano, five months pregnant at that time, was gang raped and some members of her family were killed.
The trial in the case initially began in Ahmedabad.
However, after Bano expressed apprehensions that witnesses could be harmed and the CBI evidence could be tampered with, the Supreme Court had transferred the case to Mumbai in August 2004.
A special court on January 21, 2008 had convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment 11 men for raping Bano and murdering seven of her family members, while acquitting seven persons, including the policemen and doctors.
The convicts later approached the Bombay High Court and sought quashing and setting aside of the trial court’s conviction.
The high court, 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 IPS officer R S Bhagora, challenging their conviction by the high court, saying there were “clear-cut evidences” against them. One of the officers did not appeal.