Bilkis Bano case: The apex court was hearing a PIL filed by Communist Party of India (Marxist) Politburo member Subhashini Ali and two others.
The Supreme Court today agreed to consider listing of the petition challenging the exemption of 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano case. The top court was hearing a PIL filed by Communist Party of India (Marxist) Politburo member Subhashini Ali, Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra and another petitioner.
Supreme Court Will Hear Plea Against Convicts’ Release
A bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana took note of the submissions of senior advocates Kapil Sibal (appearing for Ms Ali) and Abhishek Singhvi (appearing for Ms Moitra), and advocate Aparna Bhat, seeking exemption from the convicts and consequential A petition was filed against the release court case.
Sibal said, “We are only challenging the exemption and not the Supreme Court order. The Supreme Court order is right, my lords. We are challenging the principles on the basis of which the exemption was granted.”
All eleven convicts sentenced to life imprisonment were acquitted after the Gujarat government allowed their release as part of its remission policy amid huge outrage on August 15. Visuals of him being garlanded and fed sweets created a ruckus on social media.
On January 21, 2008, a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Mumbai sentenced eleven accused to life imprisonment for the gang rape and murder of seven family members of Bilkis Bano. Later the Bombay High Court upheld his sentence.
Bilkis Bano, who was pregnant at the time, was gang-raped and her three-year-old daughter, Saleha, 14 people were killed by a mob on March 3, 2002 in Dahod during violence across the state after the Sabarmati Express. Godhra was attacked and 59 passengers, mainly ‘kar sevaks’, were burnt.
The 11 convicts who were released prematurely include Jaswantbhai Nai, Govindbhai Nai, Shailesh Bhatt, Radhesham Shah, Bipin Chandra Joshi, Kesarbhai Vohaniya, Pradeep Mordhia, Bakabhai Vohaniya, Rajubhai Soni, Mitesh Bhatt and Ramesh Chandana.
These convicts had served more than 15 years in jail after which one of them had approached the Supreme Court seeking his premature release.
The apex court had directed the Gujarat government to look into the issue of his remission, following which the government constituted a committee.