Gujarat gets till January to tell SC of action on Bilkis Bano accused

New Delhi, Nov 24 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Friday gave the Gujarat government time till January to apprise it of action it has taken against policemen convicted in 2002 Bilkis Bano gangrape case.

The bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud was hearing the plea by Bano, a gang rape victim of post-Godhra 2002 Gujarat riots, seeking compensation and disciplinary action against the accused personnel found guilty by trial court and the Bombay High Court.

The bench gave the Gujarat government six weeks to seek “instructions” on the fate of six policement.

As Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta sought six weeks’ time, advocate Shobha, appearing for Bilkis Bano, asked why he needs six weeks to seek instructions in “digital India”.

“Why do they need six weeks’ time to collect information on disciplinary action in a case where police officers have been found guilty by two courts below,” Shobha said, urging the bench to hold the hearing in December.

As the bench cited difficulty in accommodating the matter in December, Shobha said that she has seen matters being heard on the same day.

“I am still requesting please have it in December,” the lawyer told the bench.

As ASG Mehta told the court that he has to take instructions, Shobha said that one of the convicted officers has been given a promotion.

The top court in the last hearing of the matter on October 23 had sought the Gujarat government’s response on the departmental action taken by it against the convicted state police personnel.

The court had given the government four weeks to respond.

Bano was given a meagre amount of compensation though she was entitled to more.

She was 19 years old and pregnant when she was subjected to the horror during the riots.

The horrifying incidents occurred in Randhikpur village near Dahod on March 3, 2002 when Bano and around a dozen of her family members were attacked by a mob. Many of those attacked were killed.

Only Bano and two relatives, Saddam and Husain, survived the savagery. Her mother, sister, minor daughter and other relatives were killed.

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