The Bombay high court directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday to submit a chart detailing the names of convicts in the 2002 Bilkis Bano gang-rape case and how long they have been incarcerated for.
In November last year, a division bench of justices VK Tahilramani and Mridula Bhatkar had reserved judgement on the appeals filed by the CBI seeking to increase the convicts’ sentence, as well as the appeals of the 11 convicts challenging their conviction.
The bench asked CBI counsel Hiten Venegaonkar to submit a chart detailing the sentence awarded to each of the convicts, “the exact time they have spent in jail pending trial,” and the period of their imprisonment following their conviction and sentencing. The bench said this would help it pass a judgement.
In January 2008, a city court had convicted 11 people of gang-rape, the rape of a pregnant woman, and murder. It sentenced them to life imprisonment.
The CBI had moved the high court in 2011, seeking the death penalty for three of the convicts — Jaswant Nai, Govind Nai, and Sailesh Bhatt. It said Bilkis’ sister and mother had identified them as the rapists.
The CBI had also urged the court to overturn the clean chit granted to five Gujarat police officials in the case, arguing that the police were hand in glove with the convicts.
The court had been conducting day-to-day hearings on both pleas since July last year.