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Bilkis Bano moves Supreme Court challenging release of 11 convicts in gangrape-murder case

The 11 convicts were granted remission by the Gujarat government on August 15 this year.

Bilkis Bano moves Supreme Court challenging release of 11 convicts in gangrape-murder case
In a writ petition filed before the apex court, Bilkis Bano has challenged the premature release of the 11 convicts sentenced to life in case of rape and murder. (Express file Photo)

Bilkis Bano on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court challenging the premature release of 11 people found guilty of gang-raping her and murdering her family members during the Godhra riots in Gujarat in 2002. The convicts were released by the Gujarat government as part of its remission policy on August 15 this year.

In a writ petition filed before the apex court, Bilkis Bano has challenged the premature release of the 11 convicts sentenced to life in case of rape and murder. According to Live Law, she has also sought a review of the Supreme Court’s judgment allowing the Gujarat government to make a decision on the remission of the convicts.

The matter was mentioned before a bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud who said that he will decide on the listing after looking into the matter today evening.

Also Read: ‘I trusted the system’: Bilkis Bano breaks silence two days after her rapists walk free

The remission granted by the Gujarat government, and videos of the convicts receiving a grand welcome following their release from jail sparked a huge outcry across the country, with several petitions filed before the top court questioning the decision.

Earlier, the top court had issued notice to the Gujarat government and convicts and sought their responses on the pleas challenging remission order. It had also asked the Gujarat government to file the entire record of the proceedings in the Bilkis Bano case, including the remission order.

Responding to the petitions, the Gujarat government said in an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court that the decision was arrived at following the approval of the central government, and had taken into consideration the good behaviour of the convicts and the completion of 14 years sentence swerved by them. The 11 convicts were sentenced to life in jail for the heinous crimes.

In May 2022, a Supreme Court bench led by Justice Ajay Rastogi ruled that the Gujarat government had the jurisdiction to consider the remission request as the offence took place in Gujarat. This came after the Gujarat High Court held that only the Maharashtra government could consider the remission since the trial was held in Mumbai upon transfer from Gujarat.

Also Read: Bilkis Bano case: Centre approved release of convicts, CBI opposed premature release: Gujarat govt tells Supreme Court

Bano was allegedly gang-raped and left to die with 14 members of her family, including her three-year-old daughter, during the Godhra riots in 2002. She was five months pregnant when rioters attacked her family in Vadodara. The 11 convicts were released as per the remission policy prevalent in Gujarat at the time of their conviction in 2008.

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First published on: 30-11-2022 at 14:38 IST