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SC dismisses Bilkis Bano’s plea seeking review of order allowing Gujarat govt to decide on rape & murder convicts’ remission pleas Bilkis Bano

SC dismisses Bilkis Bano’s plea seeking review of order allowing Gujarat govt to decide on rape & murder convicts’ remission pleas

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 17 Dec 2022, 08:46 pm

New Delhi: In a big setback for Bilkis Bano, the Supreme Court dismissed her review petition challenging its May 13 verdict which directed the Gujarat government to decide on the remission pleas of 11 men serving life imprisonment for gangrape and murder during the 2002 communal riots in the state.

A bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Justice Ajay Rastogi and also comprising Justice Vikram Nath, dismissed Bilkis Bano’s review petition on December 13.

The decision was communicated by the Supreme Court to Bilkis Bano's lawyer, Shobha Gupta, by way of a letter on December 16.

Earlier, Justice Bela Trivedi, one of the judges hearing the writ petition, had recused herself from hearing the case.

Bilkis Bano had filed the petition seeking to reverse the earlier order by which the court had asked the Gujarat government to consider the plea for the remission of one of the convicts.

As per procedures, review pleas against the top court’s judgments are decided in chambers by circulation by the judges who were part of the judgment under review.

Bilkis, in her review petition, said that even being the victim of the crime, she had no clue about any such process of remission or premature release initiated.

Gujarat’s remission order is a mechanical order of remission by completely ignoring the law requirement as consistently laid down, the plea said.

The remission in this heinous case would be entirely against public interest and would shock the collective public conscience, as also be entirely against the interests of the victim (whose family has publicly made statements worrying for her safety), the review petition stated.

The Gujarat government released the 11 convicts, who were sentenced to life imprisonment, on August 15.

All the convicts in the case were released as per the remission policy prevalent in Gujarat at the time of their conviction in 2008.

In March 2002 during the post-Godhra riots, Bano was gang-raped and left to die with 14 members of her family, including her three-year-old daughter. She was five months pregnant when rioters attacked her family in Vadodara.