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Bilkis Bano case: Convicted cop fails get relief from Supreme Court

The Bombay High Court, while convicting Bhagora along with four other policemen and two medicos on May 4, had sentenced them to a jail sentence that they had already undergone and imposed a fine of Rs 15,000.

india Updated: May 30, 2017 19:49 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
IANS, New Delhi
Bilkis Bano,Bilkis Bano rape case,Supreme Court
The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to hold an urgent hearing on a plea by Gujarat Police officer Ramabhai Bhagora seeking stay of a Bombay High Court order convicting him in the Bilkis Bano gangrape.(AP File Photo)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to stay the Bombay high court’s conviction of an IPS officer in the 2002 Bilkis Bano gang rape case in Gujarat.

A vacation bench headed by Justice AK Sikri also declined IPS officer RS Bhagora’s request to list his appeal against the conviction verdict soon. The court refused to interfere keeping in view the gravity the offence against the convicted officer.

“We cannot order any stay in such cases,” the bench said.

The bench did not entertain Bhagora’s argument that he might lose his job if the HC order is not put on hold, and listed his case for hearing in the second week of July. The court observed that the fine the officer has to pay was only Rs 15,000.

The officer and four others were among those convicted by the Bombay high court which set aside the trial court order finding them innocent in the case reported in the Gujarat riots of 2002. Two doctors who too were set free were also sentenced to jail by the HC.

The police officials, the court said, did not perform their duties properly and destroyed evidence to favour the accused.

A special court had on 21 January, 2008 convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment 11 men for raping Bilkis – who was then five-months pregnant - and murdering seven of her family members, while acquitting seven people including the policemen and doctors.

The convicts later approached the Bombay high court challenging their conviction and sought for the trial court’s order to be quashed and set aside. The CBI had also filed a cross-appeal, seeking death for the convicted on the ground they were the main perpetrators. The agency also challenged the acquittal of the seven policemen and doctors.

According to the prosecution, on 3 March, 2002, Bilkis Bano’s family was attacked by a mob at Randhikpur village near Ahmedabad during the riots and seven members of her family were killed.

On an appeal, the SC had transferred the case from Ahmedabad to Mumbai in August 2004.

First Published: May 30, 2017 16:57 IST