The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Gujarat Government to pay Rs 50 lakhs compensation and provide job within two weeks to a woman who survived gangrape during 2002 Gujarat riots.
Hearing the woman's contempt plea for the state's non-compliance with the court's April order, the bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi demanded "Why has the compensation not been paid? Why haven't you paid?" from Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the Gujarat government.
SG Mehta replied that the state had refrained from doing the needful in the hope of seeking a review of the top court's order. That it might set an incorrect precedent was the their concern, he advanced.
Dismissing any possibility of a reconsideration of their decision, the bench proceeded to direct the state to comply with its order to tender her the stipulated sum of Rs. 50 lakh by way of compensation, besides employment and accommodation, within 2 weeks.
"Even 2 weeks' time is not needed", commented the Chief Justice.
The bench, however, clarified that is order of April this year was only influenced by the particular facts and circumstances of this case and would not operate as a precedent.
On April 23, the bench had directed the state to pay the compensation of Rs 50 lakh, a job and also residential accommodation if she accepts while observing that she was witness of the devastation of her family.
The court had also noted that her daughter was "smashed" against the wall in their house before her very own eyes adding that she was pregnant when she was gang-raped 22 times by a mob, which also killed seven members of her family at Randhikpur village near Ahmedabad on March 3, 2002.
The rape survivor approached the SC seeking exemplary compensation, after declining the offer of Rs 5 lakh compensation made by the Gujarat Government.
She also sought disciplinary proceedings against the police officials who were convicted by High Court in the case.The bench was informed by the state's counsel that pension benefits of the erring officials have been stopped and the IPS officer who was convicted by the Bombay High Court in the case has been demoted by two ranks.
The survivor had earlier refused to accept the offer of Rs 5 lakh and had sought exemplary compensation from the state government in a plea before the top court.
The top court had earlier asked the Gujarat government to take disciplinary action in two weeks against the erring police officials, including an IPS officer, convicted by the Bombay High Court in the case.
A special court had on 21 January, 2008 convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment 11 men for raping her and murdering seven of her family members in the aftermath of the Godhra riots, while acquitting seven persons including the policemen and doctors.