Bilkis Bano case convicts re-employed by Gujarat govt, SC seeks explanation

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday sought an explanation from Gujarat government over re-employment of Bilkis Bano gang-rape convicts. Bombay High court had convicted policemen and doctors for suppressing and tampering the case evidence.

Appearing for Bano, advocate Shobha in front of the bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice D Y Chandrachud told that among the seven convicts in the case, two policemen and two doctors were re-employed by the Gujarat government despite their conviction, reported TOI.

“How can the convicted persons work in the police department and as doctors?” the bench asked.
On the other hand, advocate Hemantika Wahi, who appeared for the state said the re-employed policemen and doctors had completed the sentence. Adding to that she said, they were re-employed after getting acquitted.

The bench asked the state to file an affidavit explaining how it re-employed the convicted policemen and doctors for tampering the evidence. “The state will inform the court whether disciplinary action was initiated against the policemen and doctors in four weeks,” the bench said.

Shobha said the rape victim was given a meagre compensation by the trial court, which had asked the convicts to pay Rs 2,000 each to Bilkis, and HC did not increase the compensation. The bench said, “if the victim wants enhancement of compensation, she must challenge the HC order.”

Bano was gang-raped in 2002 during Godhra riots, and her family was murdered. As many as 14 people were killed, but only seven bodies were recovered. Local police had filed a closure report in the case. The SC then ordered CBI to reinvestigate the case. Out of 11 convicts, policemen and doctors were acquitted. On the appeal of CBI, the HC convicted the seven.