The Supreme Court, Wednesday, agreed to constitute a special bench to hear the pleas challenging the Gujarat government’s order for the premature release of 11 convicts sentenced to life in the Bilkis Bano gang rape case.
A bench of Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justices P.S. Narasimha and J.B. Pardiwala assured Bano, represented through her lawyer Shobha Gupta, that the new bench will be formed. This is the second time the Apex court has agreed to set up a special bench to take up the matter.
Gupta flagged that the matter has been mentioned four times earlier but is yet to be taken up for preliminary hearing and notice.
On January 24, the hearing on Bano’s plea challenging the remission of sentence of 11 convicts in the gang-rape case by the Gujarat government 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.
Late last year, the Apex court had dismissed a petition filed by 2002 Gujarat riots victim Bilkis Bano, seeking review of its May 2022 order which said the Gujarat government was the appropriate government to decide the prayer for remission by one of the 11 convicts handed life terms in her case, and let the state’s 1992 remission policy apply in the matter.
Bilkis was gangraped and her three-year-old daughter was among 14 people killed by a mob on March 3, 2002, in Limkheda taluka of Dahod district during the riots. The 11 convicts were released on August 15 last year, a move actualised after a nod from the Centre.
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