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SC orders Gujarat to pay Rs 50 lakh to gang-rape victim Bilkis Bano

The Supreme Court Tuesday directed the Gujarat government to pay Rs 50 lakh compensation to Bilkis Yakub Rasool, a gang-rape victim during the 2002 Gujarat riots. 

SC orders Gujarat to pay Rs 50 lakh to gang-rape victim Bilkis Bano

The Supreme Court Tuesday directed the Gujarat government to pay Rs 50 lakh compensation to Bilkis Yakub Rasool, a gang-rape victim during the 2002 Gujarat riots. 

The top court further ordered the state to provide government job and accommodation to her, after learning she had been leading a nomadic life since 2002.

During the case hearing, the Gujarat government informed the top court bench headed by Chief Justice Rajan Gogoi that several officials, guilty of tampering evidence in the case, have been stripped off their entire pensionary benefits. An IPS officer has been demoted by two ranks, it added. 

Bilkis Bano was gang-raped in March 2002 while she was pregnant. Bilkis Bano's family was attacked by a mob at Randhikpur village near Ahmedabad during the post-Godhra riots. She lost seven family members, including her three-year-old daughter. 

The CBI charged 18 people, including five policemen and two doctors. A lower court awarded life imprisonment to 11 people but acquitted seven. On the CBI's appeal, the HC convicted the seven, including five policemen and two doctors, for not performing their duties (sections 218) and tampering of evidence (section 201) under the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The convicted policemen and doctors are Narpat Singh, Idris Abdul Saiyed, Bikabhai Patel, Ramsingh Bhabhor, Sombhai Gori, Arun Kumar Prasad (doctor) and Sangeeta Kumar Prasad (doctor).

The Bombay high court, in its 2017 judgement that upheld life sentences to 11 men, directed the seven convicts to pay Rs 55,000 as compensation to Bano. 

A top court bench, comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, had later allowed Bano to file a fresh appeal seeking adequate compensation.

Bano had earlier refused to accept the offer of Rs 5 lakh and had sought exemplary compensation from the state government in a plea before the top court.