2 Convicts Of Bilkis Bano Case Withdraw Parole Pleas  - Vibes Of India

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2 Convicts Of Bilkis Bano Case Withdraw Parole Pleas 

| Updated: February 29, 2024 19:20

Two convicts of the Bilkis Bano case withdrew their parole pleas after the Gujarat High Court expressed its disinclination to grant them parole leaves. 

The convicts – Mitesh Bhatt and Shailesh Bhatt – who are brothers, were seeking parole leaves on the ground of attending “navchandi puja and vastu puja”, as submitted by their lawyer Khushbu Vyas before the court of Justice Divyesh Joshi. 

 The Gujarat HC had earlier granted parole leaves to two other convicts – Ramesh Chandana on February 23 for 10 days and Pradip Modhiya on February 5 for five days – after 11 of the convicts in the case had surrendered before the Godhra sub-jail on January 21. Their surrender had come following the Supreme Court’s orders cancelling their early remission by the Gujarat government. 

 Since their surrender on January 21 following the SC’s orders, this is the first instance when the court has shown disinclination to grant parole leaves to Bilkis Bano case convicts. 

 During the period of their incarceration before the grant of remission in August 2022, Shailesh Bhatt enjoyed 934 days of parole leaves on 17 instances, surrendering by a delay of four days once and two days another time. Shailesh Bhatt was also granted another 163 days on furlough. Mitesh Bhatt had been granted a total of 771 days of parole leaves and 234 days of furlough over 11 instances during his period of incarceration. Mitesh Bhatt had surrendered late by a period of 39 days once and one day another time during his parole leaves. 

 The 11 convicts – Radheshyam Shah, Jaswant Nai, Govind Nai, Kesar Vohania, Baka Vohania, Raju Soni, Ramesh Chandana, Shailesh Bhatt, Bipin Joshi, Pradip Modhiya, and Mitesh Bhatt – had arrived from Singwad in Dahod district to the Godhra sub-jail in Panchmahal district on January 21, in the last hour of their stipulated time to surrender awarded by the Supreme Court. 

 The surrender had come two days after the Supreme Court dismissed petitions of most convicts seeking more time to surrender at jail citing various reasons such as the ill-health of aging parents, a wedding in the family, and crop harvest, among others. 

 On January 8, the top court had quashed the Gujarat government’s decision to grant remission to the 11 convicts, who had been sentenced to life term for raping Bano and killing her family members during the 2002 Gujarat riots. The court had said the Gujarat government “usurped” the power of the Maharashtra government and lacked competence and jurisdiction in the matter. 

 The Gujarat government had released the convicts on August 15, 2022, as per its 1992 remission policy, based on a May 2022 Supreme Court order in a petition filed by one of the convicts, Radheshyam Shah. Bano had challenged the state government’s decision before the apex court. 

 Bano was 21 years old and five months pregnant when she was gang raped while fleeing with her family from Randhikpur in the aftermath of the 2002 Sabarmati train carnage. In the same incident, 14 members of her family, including her three-year-old daughter, were killed.

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