Bilkis Bano case: The Supreme Court, on Saturday, dismissed the review petition filed by gangrape victim Bilkis Bano, seeking a review of the May 2022 judgment which held that the Gujarat Government had the jurisdiction to decide the remission applications of 11 convicts. Bano, who was gang-raped and seven members of her family slaughtered during the 2002 Gujarat riots, moved the Supreme Court last month, challenging the remission of the sentence of 11 convicts in the case by the state government, saying their premature release has “shaken the conscience of society”.
Besides the plea challenging the release of the convicts, the gang rape survivor had also filed a separate petition seeking a review of the apex court’s May 13, 2022 order on a plea by a convict. The top court had asked the state government to consider the plea for premature release of the convicts in terms of its policy of July 9, 1992, about deciding a remission petition within two months.
A bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice P S Narasimha was urged by the counsel for Bano that her two separate pleas, one challenging the remission and the other seeking a review of the apex court’s direction, be listed for urgent hearing. Bano, in her plea against the grant of remission which had led to the release of the convicts on August 15, said the state government passed a “mechanical order” completely ignoring the requirement of law as laid down by the Supreme Court.
“The en masse premature release of the convicts in the much talked about the case of Bilkis Bano has shaken the conscience of the society and resulted in several agitations across the country,” she said in the plea. Referring to past verdicts, the plea said en masse remissions are not permissible and moreover, such a relief cannot be sought or granted as a matter of right without examining the case of each convict individually based on their peculiar facts and role played by them in the crime.
“The present writ petition challenging the decision of the State/ Central Government granting remission to all the 11 convicts and releasing them prematurely in one of the most gruesome crimes of extreme inhuman violence and brutality by a group of human beings upon another group of human beings, all helpless and innocent people – most of them were either women or minors, by chasing them for days together persuaded by hate towards a particular community,” it said.
(With inputs from PTI)
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