The Supreme Court on Tuesday said it will hear on November 29 the pleas challenging the remission of sentence and release of 11 convicts in the 2002 Bilkis Bano gang-rape case and murder of her seven family members during the Gujarat riots.
A bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and C T Ravikumar said that the reply filed by the Gujarat government be made available to all parties. The petitioners have been given time to file their reply to the affidavit filed by the Gujarat government, adding, a counter has been filed by the Gujarat government. Let counter affidavits be made available to all counsels.
The Gujarat government on Monday told the apex court that petitioners challenging the remission are nothing but an “interloper” and a “busybody”. It had also said that since the investigation in the case was carried out by the CBI, it had obtained “suitable orders” for grant of remission of the convicts from the Centre. Bilkis Bano was 21 years old and five-month pregnant when she was gang-raped while fleeing the riots that broke out after the Godhra train burning incident. Her three-year-old daughter was among the seven family members killed.
The Gujarat government approved the release of the 11 men under its remission policy, and they were able to leave the Godhra sub-jail on August 15. They’d spent more than 15 years behind bars.