An official document from the court indicated that the eleven men who were convicted under the gang rape of Bilkis Bano and murdering her entire family were out of prison for more than 1000 days on parole while serving their life sentence.
After the Centre’s approval, the government of Gujarat told Supreme Court that the convicts had been prematurely released earlier this year, despite the fact that the Central Bureau of Investigation and a special court had opposed their release for their involvement in such a "heinous" crime.
According to the documents, the state government sought the home ministry's approval two weeks before July 11.
Currently, the Supreme Court is hearing three petitions challenging the decision regarding the release of the Bilkis Banu’s convicts, as reported by NDTV.
According to the affidavit sent by the government of Gujarat to Supreme Court, the convicts were in prison for 14 years and their behaviour was found to be good.
Last year, the CBI opposed the premature release of the convicts, stating that their crimes were "heinous, grave and serious".
The release of these convicts was also opposed by a special judge who noted that the crime was committed against the victim solely because she belonged to a ‘certain’ religion. He also noted that even the minor children were not spared by the convicts.
"In March last year, Special Judge Anand L Yawalkar wrote to the Superintendent of the Godhra sub-jail, calling this case as a hate crime against humanity and it affects our society's consciousness.
About the Bilkis Bano case
Bilkis Bano was gang raped by 11 men during the anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat in February 2002.
Bilkis, who was also pregnant at the time, had to witness the horrible murder of her three-year-old daughter as well as the gang rape of her mother, sister, and aunts, who were all among the 14 members of her family who were slain by a mob of 25 men. She only survived because the assailants assumed she was dead.
The 11 men were convicted by a trial court in Mumbai in 2008, and the High Court maintained the order granting them life imprisonment in May 2017.