Bilkis Bano case: SC commences hearing pleas challenging remission to convictstext_fields
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday commenced the final hearing of a batch of petitions challenging the remission granted to 11 convicts in the case of gang-rape of Bilkis Bano and the murder of her family members during 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 the issuance of notice to the convicts, in relation to the convicts who could not be served notices. It had also directed the 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 petitions has 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.
With inputs from agencies