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In the latest editorial episode, Mr. Sujit Nair discusses the recent development in the Bilkis Bano Case, where the Supreme Court has reserved its judgment. This case revolves around the Gujarat government’s decision to grant remission to 11 convicts who were serving life sentences for their involvement in multiple murders and gang rapes, including that of Bilkis Bano, during the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat. Last year, these life convicts were released on Independence Day, which stirred significant controversy. Following an 11-day-long hearing that commenced in August, a bench comprising Justices BV Nagarathna and Ujjal Bhuyan has decided to withhold their judgment. Additionally, the court has instructed both the Gujarat state and the central government to provide the original records related to the case. The court stated, “”We have listened to the arguments from the legal representatives, and we have requested the State of Gujarat to submit the original records. These records are in Gujarati, so English translations should be provided along with the original records by Monday. The Union of India is also required to submit their original records on Monday. The judgment is now pending.”” During the proceedings, Advocate Shobha Gupta represented Bilkis, the survivor of the rape, while Senior Advocates Indira Jaising, and advocates Vrinda Grover, Aparna Bhat, Nizamuddin Pasha, and Pratik R Bombarde represented various public interest litigants. Additional Solicitor-General SV Raju appeared on behalf of both the State of Gujarat and the Union of India. The convicts who have been released were represented by Senior advocates Sidharth Luthra, Rishi Malhotra, S Guru Krishnakumar, Advocate Sonia Mathur, and others.
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