NLSIU alumni express shock, sadness over release of criminals in Bilkis Bano casetext_fields
New Delhi: The alumni of the National Law School of India University (NLSIU) in a statement urged the Supreme Court the revocation of remission granted to 11 men convicted in the Bilkis Bano gangrape case.
The statement signed by 157 members of the alumni expressed the shock and sadness over the court's decision to let the criminals, who committed a gruesome crime, go free.
"This decision doesn't just have a chilling effect on Bilkis Bano, and her family, but on the dignity & safety of all women in India. Through such a remission and the subsequent (in certain quarters) celebration of the release, the violence & suffering inflicted on Bilkis Bano has been renewed & compounded manifold," the statement said.
The remission has caused a compromising effect on the maintenance of the law and constitutional morality for a future course, and stressed the need for an immediate correction, reminding the responsibility of making the correction beyond a single institution, said the statement.
It said that though the Apex court is duty bound to uphold the legitimacy of the law by sending the criminal back to prison, the Gujarat government should initiate necessary steps to cancel their remission.
The statement also added that as responsible citizens in business, civil society and academia, they must "lend their voices to reassure Bilkis Bano that we stand with her and her incalculable loss."
On August 15, all 11 of the convicts who had been given life sentences in the 2002 post-Godhra Bilkis Bano gangrape case were released from the Godhra sub-jail.
On January 21, 2008, a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Mumbai had sentenced the 11 defendants to life in prison on the charges of gang rape and murder of seven members of Bilkis Bano's family.
The Bombay High Court later upheld their conviction. After serving more than 15 years in jail, one of these convicts petitioned the Supreme Court for an early release.