The Supreme Court is set to hear petitions today, regarding the remission given by the Gujarat government to 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano gangrape case.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court is set to hear petitions on Thursday, August 25, regarding the grant of remission given by the Gujarat government to 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano gangrape case.
On Tuesday, the apex court agreed to hear the pleas filed by CPI(M) Politburo member Subhashini Ali, Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra, and women’s rights activists.
The arguments made by senior advocate Kapil Sibal and lawyer Aparna Bhat against the grant of remission and consequent release of the convicts in the case were noted by the bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana.
In January 2008, a CBI court in Mumbai sentenced eleven accused to life imprisonment for allegedly gang raping Bilkis Bano while she was several months pregnant and killing her family members. Later, the Bombay High Court upheld the judgement.
One of the prisoners had knocked on the door of the Supreme Court for a remission plea after serving more than 15 years in prison. A bench comprising Justices Ajay Rastogi and Vikram Nath directed the Gujarat government to consider the plea for remission.
All the 11 convicts walked off the Godhra sub-jail steps after the Gujarat government permitted them to be released under its remission policy.
The release of the rapists was condemned by all sections. More than 6,000 people, including activists and historians, moved towards the Supreme Court to repeal the early release of the eleven convicts in the Bilkis Bano rape case.
“The trauma of the past 20 years washed over me again,” Bilkis Bano said after the 11 convicts walked free. She requested the Gujarat government to “undo this harm” and give her back the “right to live without fear and in peace”.