Bilkis Bano case: SC asks Gujarat govt to complete disciplinary action against erring officials

A Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi to hear Bilkis Bano’s plea seeking enhanced compensation on April 23

Updated - March 29, 2019 10:41 pm IST

Published - March 29, 2019 11:55 am IST - New Delhi

Justice at last:  Bilkis Bano along with her daughter at a press conference in New Delhi on Monday, May 8, 2017.

Justice at last: Bilkis Bano along with her daughter at a press conference in New Delhi on Monday, May 8, 2017.

The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Gujarat government to take disciplinary action in two weeks against the erring police officials, including an IPS officer, convicted by the Bombay High Court in the sensational 2002 Bilkis Bano gangrape case during the 2002 riots.

“On the statement made by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Gujarat, that the proceedings for disciplinary action against the erring officers will be completed within two weeks, we adjourn the matter for two weeks… On the next date, the orders passed in the disciplinary proceedings be placed before the court,” a Bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna recorded in its order.

Ms. Bano has also sought exemplary compensation from the State government, refusing to accept its offer of ₹5 lakh.

“Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General appearing for the State, has offered an interim compensation of ₹5 lakh, which counsel for the petitioner is reluctant to accept and instead prays for final disposal of the special leave petition,” the Bench recorded. It posted the case for April 23.

At the outset, advocate Shobha Gupta, appearing for Ms. Bano, said no action had been taken by the State government against the erring officials, who were convicted by the High Court.

She said one IPS officer, currently serving in Gujarat, was set to retire this year, while in case of four other officials who had retired no action had been taken against them like stopping of pension and retirement benefits.

The counsel said these officers were convicted by the High Court for botching up the investigation in the case.

With regard to compensation, she contended that Ms. Bano has been leading almost a nomadic life after being subjected to gruesome crime and therefore exemplary compensation should be granted.

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