Monday, February 26, 2024

Bilkis Bano case: Supreme Court agrees to hear fresh plea filed by women organisation on release of convicts

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The Supreme Court has today agreed to hear a fresh plea moved by a women organisation, which challenged the release of convicts in the 2002 Bilkis Bano gang-rape case and remission of sentence.

A bench comprising of Justice Ajay Rastogi and Justice C T Ravikumar have tagged the matter along with the main petition and would be hear it together.

A plea had come before the court, which was filed by the National Federation of Indian women challenging the remission of sentence and the release of convicts in the case.

On October 18,the Supreme court had said that the reply by the Gujarat government to petitions challenging the remission is very bulky, wherein a series of judgments have been quoted but factual statements are missing.

The Court had granted time to the petitioners for filing their response to the Gujarat government’s affidavit and said it will hear the matter on November 29.

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The Gujarat government had last month granted remission to 11 convicts who had gangraped Bilkis Ban while she was pregnant and also killed her young daughter along with other family members during the 2002 Godhra riots.

The 11 convicts who have been set free are Jaswant Nai, Govind Nai, Shailesh Bhatt, Radhyesham Shah, Bipin Chandra Joshi, Kesarbhai Vohania, Pradeep Mordhiya, Bakabhai Vohania, Rajubhai Soni, Mitesh Bhatt and Ramesh Chandana.

CPI(M) leader Subhasini Ali, independent journalist and filmmaker Revati Laul and former philosophy professor and activist Roop Rekh Varma had filed a petition before the top court questioning the remission.

The Supreme Court had  asked all the 11 convicts to respond to the plea along with asking for a response from the Gujarat Government on the same.

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He added that if such gets promotion or are entertained by the apex court, it would not only unsettle the settled position of law but would also open flood gates for people to jump in any matter even after the court has given verdict.

The Supreme Court had, on August 25, sought the response of the Gujarat government and the 11 convicts to the plea.

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