The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre, the Gujarat government, and others to respond to a petition filed by Bilkis Bano, who was gang-raped and seven members of her family were killed during the 2002 post-Godhra riots. Bilkis Bano has challenged the remission of the sentence of 11 convicts in the case.
While posting the matter for hearing on April 18, a bench of Justices K M Joseph and B V Nagarathna said there is a gamut of issues involved and it needs to hear the matter in detail.
The supreme court issued a notice to the Centre, the Gujarat government and the convicts. It also ordered the Gujarat government to be ready with the relevant files granting remission to the parties on the next date of the hearing.
During the hearing, the bench stated that it would not be overwhelmed by emotions and would only follow the law.
On January 4, a bench comprising Justices Ajay Rastogi and Bela M Trivedi took up the petition filed by Bano and other pleas. However, Justice Trivedi recused from hearing the case without citing any reason.
Last year on November 30, Bano had moved the supreme court challenging the premature release of 11 lifers by the state government, saying it has shaken the conscience of society.
In addition to the plea challenging the convicts’ release, the gang-rape survivor filed a separate petition seeking a review of the Supreme Court’s May 13, 2022, order on a plea by a convict.
The review petition was later dismissed in December of last year. The Gujarat government granted remission to all 11 convicts and released them on August 15, last year.
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