HC reserves order on bail pleas in Bilkis Bano case
The Bombay High Court has reserved the judgement on the bail pleas of seven convicts in the 2002 Bilkis Bano gang-rape case.
All the seven were sentenced to life imprisonment by the trial court in 2008 following which they have filed appeals against the verdict and sought bail pending the disposal of appeals.
The High Court has already admitted an appeal filed by the CBI, seeking death penalty for three of the convicts.
The arguments concluded before the division bench of Justices N H Patil and Mridula Bhatkar yesterday.
On March 3, 2002, Bilkis Bano's family was attacked by a mob at Randhikpur village, about 250 kms from Ahmedabad, during the post-Godhra riots.
Eight members of the family were killed. Bilkis was gang-raped, while six other members of her family went missing.
The Supreme Court had ordered a re-trial of the case in Mumbai.
The defence argued before the High Court that Bilkis had not told the police in her first statement that she had been gang-raped, nor did she name any accused, so the accused must get a benefit of doubt.
But CBI's lawyer said that Bilkis did tell police about the rape and her version was not properly recorded by the police. Some policemen too were made accused, the agency pointed out.