Indian SC issues notice to Gujarat govt over release of 11 convicts in Bilkis Bano case

Bilkis Bano case convicts (Photo: Twitter Grab)

New Delhi, August 25 (KMS): The Supreme Court of India issued notice to the government of Indian state of Gujarat over the remission granted to the 11 men convicted for the rape of Muslim woman, Bilkis Bano, and murder of her relatives in the 2002.

The development comes after a plea was filed against the release of the convicts in the Bilkis Bano case. The plea was mentioned by advocate Aparna Bhat and senior advocate Kapil Sibal before a bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana. The counsels submitted that they are challenging the remission order, emphasising that a pregnant woman was raped and people were killed.

The PIL was filed by Subhashini Ali, Revathy Laul, and Roop Rekha Rani, challenging the order of the Gujarat government due to which 11 persons who were convicted in a set of heinous offences were allowed to walk free on August 15 after remission was extended to them.

The petitioners maintained that grant of remission solely by the state government, without any consultation with the Central Indian government, is impermissible in terms of the mandate of Section 435 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

Eleven convicts, sentenced to life imprisonment, were released from Godhra sub-jail on August 15 after the Gujarat government allowed their release under its remission policy.

In January 2008, a special court of Indian Central Bureau of Investigation in Mumbai had sentenced the convicts to life imprisonment for gang-rape of Bilkis Bano and murder of seven members of her family. The Bombay High Court upheld their conviction.

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