National Politics

Delhi: SC To Consider Listing Of Review Plea Relating To Remission Of 11 Convicts In The Bilkis Bano Case

bilkis bano case judiciary not to be blamed

The Supreme Court on Monday said it will consider an early listing of a plea filed by victim (Bilkis Bano) seeking a review of its earlier order

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday said it will consider an early listing of a plea filed by victim (Bilkis Bano) seeking a review of its earlier order by which it had asked the Gujarat government to consider the plea for the remission of 11 convicts in Bilkis Bano gang rape case.

A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices PS Narasimha and Dipankar Datta said, “It will come up by circulation. I will have it posted early. There is a date, I will check.” The apex court said this after advocate Shobha Gupta told the bench that the review plea is yet to be listed and a tentative date was shown as December 5.

As per procedures, review pleas against top court judgements are decided in chambers by circulation by the judges who were part of the judgement under review.
She has filed a review plea against the May order of the Supreme Court which allowed the Gujarat government to apply the 1992 remission Rules.

Bano, besides filing a review petition, also filed a plea challenging the premature release of 11 convicts, who had gang raped her and murdered her family members during the 2002 Godhra riots.
The matter is listed for hearing on December 13 before a bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and Bela Trivedi.
Bano said that even being the victim of the crime, she had no clue about any such process of remission or premature release initiated.
Gujarat’s remission order is a mechanical order of remission by completely ignoring the law required as consistently laid down, the plea said.

Earlier, some PILs were filed seeking directions to revoke the remission granted to 11 convicts.
The pleas were filed by the National Federation of Indian Women, whose General Secretary is Annie Raja, Member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) Subhashini Ali, journalist Revati Laul, social activist and professor Roop Rekha Verma and TMC MP Mahua Moitra.
Gujarat government in its affidavit had defended remission granted to convicts saying they completed 14 years of sentence in prison and their “behaviour was found to be good”.
The State government said it has considered the cases of all 11 convicts as per the policy of 1992 and remission was granted on August 10, 2022, and the Central government also approved the pre-mature release of convicts.

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It is pertinent to note that the remission was not granted under the circular governing grant of remission to prisoners as part of the celebration of “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav”, it has said.
The affidavit has stated, “State government considered all the opinions and decided to release 11 prisoners since they have completed 14 years and above in prisons and their behaviour was found to be good.”

The government had also questioned the locus standi of petitioners who filed the PIL challenging the decision saying they are outsiders to the case.
The pleas said they have challenged the order of competent authority of the government of Gujarat by way of which 11 persons who were accused in a set of heinous offences committed in Gujarat were allowed to walk free on August 15, 2022, pursuant to remission being extended to them.

The remission in this heinous case would be entirely against public interest and would shock the collective public conscience, as also be entirely against the interests of the victim (whose family has publicly made statements worrying for her safety), pleas stated.

The Gujarat government had released the 11 convicts, who were sentenced to life imprisonment, on August 15. All the 11 life-term convicts in the case were released as per the remission policy prevalent in Gujarat at the time of their conviction in 2008.

In March 2002 during the post-Godhra riots, Bano was gang-raped and left to die with 14 members of her family, including her three-year-old daughter. She was five months pregnant when rioters attacked her family in Vadodara.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by HW News staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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