The CBI on Monday said it would go in for an appeal against a Mumbai court's acquittal of five policemen and two doctors in the Bilkis Bano gang-rape case in which 11 out of 12 people have been sentenced to life imprisonment.
CBI Director Vijay Shanker said since the investigation agency was confident about the probe conducted and it would go in for an appeal against the acquittal. "We will have to wait for the judgment and after which we will chalk out our future course of action," he told reporters here.
Appreciating the role of some non-governmental organisations and individuals in providing protection of Bilkis Bano, a key witness in one of the most gruesome incidents in post-Godhra riots of 2002, Shanker said the case also brought to light the need for having a concrete policy for witness protection in the country.
"It's a matter of satisfaction that the trial court has sentenced 11 people to life imprisonment while sentencing the lone policeman also," he said.
He termed this as a "landmark" judgment which underlined "the gravity and of the crime committed". "It was a horrendous crime that was committed," he said and praised Bilkis Bano for not losing faith in the court of law despite having seen her children and relatives hacked in mob frenzy.