The top court will hear a batch of pleas on Monday challenging the release of 11 convicts who had gang-raped Bilkis Bano and murdered her family members during the 2002 Godhra riots.
Last year, on August 10 the Gujarat government granted remission to 11 convicts, and they will be released on August 15, 2022. On March 27, a bench of Justices KM Joseph and BV Nagarathna will hear the case.
On March 22, Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud said that he will constitute a bench to hear pleas. “I will have a bench constituted. Need to break two benches for it. Will look at it this evening,” he said after advocate Shobha Gupta, appearing for Bano, mentioned the plea for an early listing of the case.
Earlier also advocate Gupta mentioned the matter for urgent hearing and said that a new bench needs to be constituted by the CJI as Justice Bela M Trivedi recused from hearing the plea.
Earlier, a bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and Bela M Trivedi had ordered that matter be listed before the court, which Justice Trivedi is not a part of as she had recused herself from hearing the case.
Bano had filed a review petition seeking a review of its earlier order in which it had asked the Gujarat government to consider the plea for the remission of one of the convicts, in addition to a petition against the pre-mature release of convicts.
The review petition was dismissed. Some PILs were filed seeking directions to revoke the remission granted to 11 convicts.
The pleas were filed by the National Federation of Indian Women, whose General Secretary is Annie Raja, Member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) Subhashini Ali, journalist Revati Laul, social activist and professor Roop Rekha Verma and TMC MP Mahua Moitra.
In its affidavit, the Gujarat government defended remission granted to convicts, saying they completed 14 years of sentence in prison and their “behaviour was found to be good”.
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