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Sunday, April 14 2024
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Supreme court hearing on Bilkis Bano case remission challenge

Bilkis Bano
Photo Credit : By Author

New Delhi: On Monday, the Supreme Court began the conclusive hearing of a group of petitions that question the remission given to 11 convicts involved in the gang-rape of Bilkis Bano and the murder of her family members amidst the 2002 Gujarat riots.
A bench comprising Justices B.V. Nagarathna and Ujjal Bhuyan was told by advocate Shobha Gupta, appearing for Bano, that the victim was brutally gang-raped when she was pregnant and her three-and-a-half-year old daughter was smashed on a rock to death.
Her mother was gang-raped and murdered, four minor siblings were murdered, apprised Bano’s counsel to the court.
She argued that the convicts in the case are not entitled for remission in view of the adverse opinion given by the trial judge who had convicted and sentenced them.
Gupta submitted that the survivor came to know about the release of the convicts through news channels when there were celebrations and garlanding outside the jail.
Earlier on May 9, the Supreme Court had directed issuance of notice to the convicts, in relation with the convicts who could not be served notices. It had also directed publication of notices in local newspapers, including in Gujarati and English.
On May 2, the Centre and the Gujarat government had told the Supreme Court that they would not claim privilege over the documents in connection with the remission of sentence of the convicts in the Bilkis Bano case, and agreed to share the documents with the apex court for its perusal.
The 11 men convicted in the case were released on August 15 last year, after the Gujarat government allowed their release under its remission policy. The convicts had completed 15 years in jail.
A batch of the petitions have been filed against the release of the 11 convicts, including the one filed by Bilkis Bano.
The other petitions have been filed by CPI-M leader Subhashini Ali, Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra, National Federation of Indian Women, Meeran Chadha Borwankar and others, Asma Shafique Shaikh and others.

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