New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday ordered the Gujarat government to pay compensation of Rs 50 lakh to Gujarat riots survivor Bilkis Bano within two weeks and declined to reconsider its decision. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi directed the state to provide her a job and accommodation within two weeks.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the state government, submitted before the bench that they sought to seek a review of the April order by the top court.
Responding to a contempt plea filed by Bano, Mehta said the order has not been complied with since the Gujarat government wanted the court to reconsider its directive. At this, the CJI clarified that the order to pay compensation along with a job and accommodation was in view of specific facts and circumstances in the particular case.
The court said: "We make it clear that our order was in view of the particular facts and will not be a precedent. Now you pay her the compensation within two weeks. We are giving you two weeks although you may not even need that much time."
In April, the apex court directed the state government to pay Bano the compensation, and also assure her a job and accommodation. It had then said: “While the state eventually punished the perpetrators of the crime, the victim was left devastated after seeing human fury at its worst. Not only was she raped 22 times, her daughter aged 3.2 years was smashed to death. Ever since the appellant has been living a nomadic life and surviving at the charity of NGOs. The appellant is now 40 years old and not very well educated. She has lost her entire family."
Bano’s legal battle of over 15 years began after the state police dismissed her complaint of gangrape during the 2002 riots in Gujarat citing lack of evidence.
Bano, then 21, was five months pregnant when she was assaulted by a mob of Hindu rioters in Randhikpur village near Ahmedabad. Bano lost 14 members of her family, including her three-year-old daughter whose murder she witnessed.