Bilkis Bano case: CJI Ramana says 'will look into' plea challenging remission of convicts

Eleven convicts, sentenced to life imprisonment, walked out of the Godhra sub-jail on August 15, after the Gujarat government allowed their release under its remission policy

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Tuesday, August 23, 2022, 11:47 AM IST
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Bilkis Bano, who was gang-raped during the 2002 riots, gets emotional while addressing a press conference, in New Delhi, on April 24, 2019 | PTI

The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to consider listing a plea challenging the grant of remission by the Gujarat government to 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano gangrape case.

A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana took note of the submissions of senior advocate Kapil Sibal and lawyer Aparna Bhat against the grant of remission and consequent release of the convicts in the case.

"We are only challenging the remission and not the Supreme Court order. The Supreme Court order is fine, My Lords. We are challenging the principles on the basis of which remission was granted," Sibal said.

The apex court had earlier asked the Gujarat government to consider the plea of remission.

Eleven convicts, sentenced to life imprisonment, walked out of the Godhra sub-jail on August 15, after the Gujarat government allowed their release under its remission policy. They had completed more than 15 years in jail.

A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Mumbai on January 21, 2008 had sentenced the 11 to life imprisonment on charges of gang-rape and murder of seven members of Bilkis Bano's family. Their conviction was later upheld by the Bombay High Court.

Bilkis Bano was 21-years-old and five months pregnant when she was gang-raped while fleeing the violence that broke out after the Godhra train burning. Among those killed were her 3-year-old daughter.

(with inputs from PTI)

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