The Bombay High Court (HC) on Thursday has ruled that no death penalty will be awarded to three out of 11 convicts for gang raping Bilkis Bano, a 19-year-old pregnant woman, and brutally murdering 14 of her family members, including her three-year-old daughter. The appeal was filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
According to a report by Hindustan Times, a special court convicted eleven men — Jaswant Nai, Govind Nai, Shailesh Bhatt, Radhyesham Shah, Bipin Chandra Joshi, Kesarbhai Vohania, Pradeep Mordhiya, Bakabhai Vohania, Rajubhai Soni, Mitesh Bhatt, and Ramesh Chandana — for the gang rape of Bilkis and murder of her family members on January 21, 2008 and sentenced to life imprisonment.
The convicts had later challenged their conviction in the High Court. “The trail initially began in Ahmedabad but the Supreme Court transferred the case to Mumbai in 2004 after Bano, expressed fear that witness could be harmed and the CBI evidence tampered with,” reported India Today.
The Bombay HC reportedly also convicted five police officers in the case while rejecting the CBI’s appeal to enhance punishment of certain convicts.