Bilkis Bano case: SC raps Gujarat over action against erring cops, doctorsindia Updated: Oct 23, 2017 23:41 IST
Bilkis Bano addressing a press conference in New Delhi.(PTI File Photo)
New Delhi: The Supreme Court said on Monday the policemen and doctors found guilty of tampering with evidence in the 2002 Bilkis Bano gang rape should not be in service and gave the Gujarat government four weeks to clarify if disciplinary action was taken against them or not.
“Apprise this court on whether disciplinary action has been instituted against the officers or not,” a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra asked Gujarat government counsel Hemantika Wahi.
The court was hearing a 2003 petition filed by Bilkis Bano on the basis of which SC had ordered a CBI probe in the case. She had then approached the top court after the local police closed the case, citing the accused were untraceable.
The instructions were issued after Bano’s lawyer, Shobha, told the court that the policemen who botched up the probe were back on duty even as she asked for a higher compensation.
“How is it possible? How can they work if they have been convicted,” wondered Justice Misra, surprised to know the men were back to work.
Wahi said she was unaware and sought time to seek instructions from the government. She submitted the convicted had already served their sentence.
The bench permitted Bano to file a fresh case for higher compensation. It advised her to appeal against the Bombay High Court order that directed the convicts, 12 in all, to pay Rs 55,000 to her as compensation. Shobha submitted the amount was meagre and Bano was entitled to more.
Bano and 16 members of her family were attacked by a mob on March 3, 2002 at Randhikpur village in Gujarat’s Dahod district as communal violence swept the state.
Seven members were killed and 19-year-old Bano, who was five months pregnant, was gang-raped. Six other members managed to escape the mob.
The Bombay high court had on May 4, 2017 upheld life sentences to 11 men for raping Bano and convicted seven people for tampering evidence.