India: SC orders Gujarat to compensate riot victim


The Supreme Court of India on Monday directed the Gujarat government to pay gang-rape survivor Bilkis Bano a compensation of $70,500 (5 million Indian rupees), job and accommodation within two weeks, said media reports.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Rajan Gogoi passed the order after it was apprised by Bano’s counsel, Shobha Gupta, that the amount was not paid to her client despite a direction by the apex court earlier this year, said Press Trust of India (PTI).

The court in April had had directed the local authorities in April to pay compensation, give job and accommodation to the victim. However, Bano again approached the supreme court as she was not paid even after 5 months.

“I just want justice from the court,” said Bano, and added: “They have passed an order which has to be followed by the state government.”

“The government should have given compensation, job and accommodation,” she told Anadolu Agency.

Bilkis Bano was gang-raped on March 3, 2002 and saw 14 members of her family being murdered by a mob during the 2002 Gujarat riots.

According to the Times of India, the chief justice clarified that the order to pay compensation along with a job and accommodation was in view of specific facts and circumstances in connection with the case.

The court had directed the Gujarat government to get her a state government job and provide her accommodation at a place of her choice.

Chief Justice Gogoi had pointed out that the rehabilitation of the victim is at priority, after her lawyer contended before the court that she had lost everything in the tragedy, said Times of India.
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