The Supreme Court, Thursday, heard a petition challenging the remission of 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano case. The bench led by CJI N.V. Ramana, who is set to retire on Friday, issued a notice to the Gujarat government to file its response in the matter and asked the petitioners to make the 11 convicts party to the case. The matter will be taken up for hearing again after two weeks.
On Tuesday, two PILs were filed challenging the remission. The first PIL was filed by Trinamool Congress MP Mohua Moitra. The second, was filed by social activists Subhashini Ali, Revati Laul and Roop Rekha Varma. The seasoned Justice had agreed to consider “urgent hearing” of the petition demanding the immediate re-arrest of 11 convicts, who were sentenced in 2008 to a life term in the gangrape and murder case. The 11 convicts walked out of jail on I-Day, a week after the Gujarat government cleared their early release under the state’s 1992 Remission Policy.
On the day before he demits office, CJI Ramana on Thursday, took up a string of important cases, including the PIL filed in the Bilkis Bano case, the Pegasus snooping row petition and the review of the controversial July 27 verdict on the powers of the Enforcement Directorate. Sitting in five different combinations, the outgoing CJI is expected to take a call on immediate course of actions in these cases while leaving for future benches the final orders.
In the Pegasus case, the court is expected to decide on the next steps after the report of a committee appointed by the court was submitted in July. The panel was expected to look into whether the spyware was used on Indian citizens, among other related matters.
The CJI-led bench will also take up a report by an independent committee headed by retired judge, Justice Indu Malhotra. The committee was set up to investigate the breach in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s security during his Punjab visit in January this year.