The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that the Gujarat government’s reply to pleas challenging the remission granted to 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano gang-rape case was “very bulky” wherein a series of judgments have been quoted, but “factual statements were missing”.
The apex court granted time to the petitioners to file their response to the Gujarat government’s affidavit and said it will hear on November 29 the pleas challenging the remission of sentence and release of convicts in the 2002 case also involving the murder of seven members of her family during the Gujarat riots.
“I have not come across a counter affidavit where a series of judgments are quoted. Factual statement should have been made. A very bulky counter. Where is the factual statement, where is the application of mind?” a bench headed by Justice Ajay Rastogi observed.
The bench, also comprising Justice C T Ravikumar, directed that the reply filed by the Gujarat government be made available to all parties.
Senior Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Subhashini Ali and two other women have filed the public interest litigation (PIL) against the remission of sentence of the convicts and their release.
At the outset, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the petitioners, submitted that he needed time to file the response.