Assuring Bilkis Bano of a hearing, the Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to constitute a special bench to hear a plea by Bilkis Bano, who was gang-raped during the 2002 Gujarat riots, against the remission of sentence of 11 convicts in the case. On January 24, the hearing on Bano's plea could not be held in the top court as the judges concerned were hearing a matter related to passive euthanasia as part of a five-judge Constitution bench.
A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala assured Bano, represented through her lawyer Shobha Gupta, that the new bench will be formed. "I will have a bench constituted. Will look at it this evening," the CJI said.
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. Seven members of Bilkis Bano's family were also killed during the 2002 Gujarat riots.
All 11 convicts were granted remission by the Gujarat government and released on August 15, last year. Bano's review plea against the May 13, 2022 order, however, was dismissed by the top court in December last year.
With PTI inputs