IPS officer R S Bhagora, currently serving in Gujarat, was recently convicted along with four other policemen by the High Court, overturning the trial court order acquitting them.

New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed the appeals of two doctors and four policemen including an IPS officer challenging their conviction by the Bombay High Court in the sensational 2002 Bilkis Bano case, saying there was “clear-cut evidence” against them.

A bench of Justices S A Bobde and L Nageswara Rao, while rejecting their appeals, said the trial court had unreasonably acquitted them. “You all have been unreasonably acquitted by the trial court in the case despite there being clear-cut evidence against you,” the bench said while dismissing three appeals.

IPS officer R S Bhagora, currently serving in Gujarat, was recently convicted along with four other policemen by the High Court, overturning the trial court order acquitting them.

The Bombay High Court had on May 4 reversed the trial court verdict acquitting Bhagora and others and upheld the conviction of 11 people (one convict is dead) in the Bilkis Bano gang rape and murder case. One policeman Idris Abdul Sayed has not appealed against his conviction.

Counsel for Bhagora said he was unnecessarily caught in the web of circumstances and had no direct role in the incident. The bench, however, refused to go into the matter saying Bhagora was the supervising officer in the case and everything happened under his nose. Advocate Shobha, appearing for Bikis Bano, opposed the appeals of the convicts.

The High Court bench had convicted seven persons — five policemen and two doctors — under sections 218 (not performing their duties) and section 201 (tampering of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The apex court had on May 30 refused to stay the conviction of Bhagora.   A vacation bench of Justices A K Sikri and Deepak Gupta said there was no urgency for hearing the matter as the convicted officer had already undergone the sentence.

A special court had on 21 January, 2008 convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment 11 men for raping Bilkis and murdering seven of her family members in the aftermath of the Godhra riots, while acquitting seven persons including the policemen and doctors.