Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a plea by 11 convicts in the case of gangrape of Bilkis Bano and the murder of seven of her family members during the 2002 riots in Gujarat seeking an extension of time to surrender.
A bench of Justices B V Nagarathna and Ujjal Bhuyan said the reasons cited by the convicts have no merits.
"We have heard senior counsel and counsel for the applicants and the counsel for the non-applicants also. The reasons cited by applicants to seek postponement of surrender and report back to jail have no merit inasmuch as those reasons in no way prevent them from complying with our directions. Hence the miscellaneous applications are dismissed," the bench said.
The top court on January 8 had quashed the Gujarat government's decision to grant remission to 11 convicts in the case, saying the orders were "stereotyped" and passed without application of mind.
It had asked the convicts to surrender before jail authorities by January 21.
Police Forces Stationed Near Convicts' Residences
A senior police official in Dahod earlier on Jan 10 said they have not yet received any information about the surrender of 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano gangrape case after the Supreme Court quashed the Gujarat government's decision to grant them remission. A police force remains deployed in the area where the convicts live to maintain peace, he said.
The convicts, however, are "not incommunicado" and some of them are visiting relatives, Dahod Superintendent of Police Balram Meena said on Tuesday. Bilkis Bano, then 21 years old and five months pregnant, was raped while fleeing after communal riots broke out in the aftermath of the Godhra train burning incident in 2002. Her three-year-old daughter and six other family members were killed.