THE Bombay High Court on Friday sought details of convicts in the Bilkis Bano gangrape case.

The court told the CBI to submit a chart detailing the names of convicts and the amount of time they have already spent in jail. It said this would help them in passing the judgment that was reserved in November last year.

A division bench of Justice VK Tahilramani and Justice Mridula Bhatkar had reserved its judgment after hearing both parties in the appeals filed by 11 convicts along with the CBI’s petition seeking death penalty for three of these convicts.

They were sentenced to life by a special trial court in January 2008 for gang-raping five-month pregnant Bilkis and murdering seven of her family members.

In August 2004, the Supreme Court transferred the trial from Ahmedabad to Mumbai after Bilkis expressed her apprehension regarding some foul play with the witnesses and the evidence.

In November, court had rejected an intervention application filed by Bilkis.

It held that an appeal could be filed by the victim only against the acquittal of five officials of the Gujarat Police and not against the life sentence awarded to the 11 convicts by the trial court (seeking a bigger punishment or enhancement of quantum).

However, the victim may have been inclined to seek a harsher punishment against the accused, which would explain the intervention application.

It has been four months since the judgment was reserved.


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