2002 Gujarat riots: Pay compensation to Bilkis Bano in two weeks, Supreme Court tells Gujarat
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2002 Gujarat riots: Pay compensation to Bilkis Bano in two weeks, Supreme Court tells Gujarat

Shruti Mahajan

The Supreme Court today directed the State of Gujarat to release the compensation of Rs 50 lakh to Bilkis Bano, a rape victim of the 2002 Gujarat riots within two weeks.

The Court pulled up the State of Gujarat over non-compliance with the Court’s previous order which stated that Bilkis Bano should be given a compensation of Rs. 50 lakh, a job opportunity and accomodation.

Offering an explanation as to why the Court’s order was not complied with, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the Court that a review petition was to be filed. The Court did not take kindly to this submission, and directed the State to comply with the order within two weeks.

Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, who was on the bench with Justices SA Bobde and S Abdul Nazeer, remarked that the compliance of this order would only require one week. Mehta sought a period of four weeks to comply with the order to provide a job to the victim.

Advocate Shobha Gupta appeared for the victim in the case.

When the matter was heard in March, Bilkis Bano had turned down the compensation amount of Rs. 5 lakh offered by the State of Gujarat. Before the Supreme Court, she had pressed for enhanced compensation.

Bano had been subjected to gang rape during the 2002 riots.

Bano’s counsel had pointed out that the police officials who botched the investigation into the matter have not yet been punished despite conviction by the Bombay High Court and the same being upheld by Supreme Court.

Referring to one of the officers, she said that he is due to retire in June 2019. In response, the Supreme Court had ordered the State to place before the Court orders passed in the disciplinary proceedings.

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