Monday, September 30, 2019

Give Bilkis Bano Rs. 50 Lakh Within 2 Weeks, Top Court Orders Gujarat

The court has turned down a plea by Gujarat to reconsider its April order which made the same recommendations.The top court has also ordered the state government to give Bilkis Bano a job and accommodation. Give Bilkis Bano Rs 50 Lakh Within 2 Weeks, Top Court Orders Gujarat

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday set a two-week deadline for the Gujarat government to give R
s. 50 lakh compensation, a job and accommodation to Bilkis Bano, who was gang-raped during the 2002 Gujarat riots.

The court has turned down a petition by Gujarat to reconsider its April order which made the same recommendations.
The Gujarat government has told the Supreme Court that there is a compensation scheme already in the state. But the court said the Gujarat government did not implement its earlier orders.

On March 3, 2002, Bilkis Bano's family was attacked by a mob at Randhikpur village near Ahmedabad during the post-Godhra riots.

Bilkis, five months pregnant at that time, was gang-raped and several members of her family were killed. During the riots, 14 members of Bilkis' family were killed, including her two-and-half-year old daughter who was snatched from her mother's arms and smashed on a rock.
The gang-rape survivor's husband, Yakoob Rasool said the Gujarat government "did not provide any assistance" to them all these years. "The Supreme Court on April 13 told the state government to give her compensation within 15 days. It has been over five months now, but the government did not contact us even once, let alone follow the court order," Mr Rasool told news agency PTI over phone from Dahod on Monday.
Mr Rasool said his family sent two notices to the Vijay Rupani-led state government, reminding of the top court order, but the government did not reply, after which they approached the Supreme Court again.
"Let us see what the state government does now. It has to comply within 15 days or it will amount to contempt of court. All we know is that Bilkis suffered a lot in last 17 years, but never gave up the fight," he said.
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, while acquitting seven persons including the policemen and doctors.
The high court, on May 4, 2017, convicted seven people - five policemen and two doctors - under charges of not performing their duties and tampering of evidence. 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.--ndtv

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