The Bombay High Court on Thursday dismissed the appeal filed by 11 convicts who were sentenced to life by a trial court in 2008, after being held guilty of gang-raping a five-month pregnant girl and killing seven of her family members in the post-Godhra riots of 2002.
Apart from this, the CBI’s plea for enhancement of sentence for three of the accused was rejected.
The CBI had sought death penalty for Jaswant Nai, Govind Nai and Shailesh Bhatt.
The CBI had also appealed against the acquittal of five Gujarat cops and two doctors involved in the case.
This appeal has been allowed and all seven have been convicted for offences under Sections 201 and 218 of the IPC.
A bench of Justice VK Tahilramani and Justice Mridula Bhatkar pronounced the judgement after six months of reserving it.
In August 2004, the Supreme Court transferred the trial from Ahmedabad to Mumbai after Victim expressed her apprehension regarding some foul play with the witnesses and the evidence.
CBI counsel Hiten Venegaokar had submitted that this qualified in the rarest of rare category as it is a matter of communal violence, pre-planned murder of rape victim’s family members, including her infant child. Hence, death penalty was sought.
After the judgment was pronounced, Bikis Banu made the following statement in a press release:“My rights, as a human being, as a citizen, woman and mother were violated in the most brutal manner, but I have trusted the democratic institutions of our country. Now my family and I feel we can begin to lead our lives again, free of fear.”
Read Judgment Here