The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Gujarat government to provide Rs 50 lakh compensation, a job and accommodation to Bilkis Bano, who was raped during the 2002 Gujarat riots, within the next two weeks, News18 reported. The top court had ordered the compensation in April, but the Gujarat government did not implement the order for five months and sought a review of it, which the court declined on Monday.
Eleven men had raped Bilkis Bano during the 2002 Gujarat riots. Bano was 19 years old and pregnant at the time. Fourteen members of her family, including her three-year-old daughter, were murdered by the rioters near Ahmedabad.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the state government, said the order was not followed as the Gujarat government wanted the court to reconsider its directive in terms of the precedent it might set.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said the order issued in April was because of specific circumstances in the particular case. “We make it clear that our order was in view of the particular facts and will not be a precedent,” the court said. “Now you pay her the compensation within two weeks. We are giving you two weeks although you may not even need that much time.”
The Gujarat government agreed to compensate Bano after the order.
“Not only was she raped 22 times, her daughter aged 3.2 years was smashed to death,” the top court said. “Ever since the appellant has been living a nomadic life and surviving at the charity of NGOs.” The court also noted that Bano lost her entire family and is not educated.
Bano had said in April that she wanted to use a part of the compensation money to raise funds to help victims of rape and communal violence.
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