Bilkis Bano rape case: SC postpones hearing after Centre, Gujarat govt agree to produce documents on release of convicts
New Delhi: The Centre and the Gujarat government on Tuesday said they will submit the papers regarding the release of the Bilkis Bano rape convicts after which the Supreme Court postponed the hearing to the second week of July, media reports said.
The court said that it would schedule the issue for May 9th to decide on the timeline for rehearing the case when the court reopens after the summer recess
Further, a new bench will be created to preside over the case, it said.
Initially, both the Centre and the state had refused to produce the documents in court, asserting that they were "privileged".
They had also said that they were thinking about filing a review petition against the order requiring them to produce the necessary files. However, the judges were firm in their stance.
The bench of Justices KM Joseph and BV Nagarathna underlined that there must be "objective standards".
"If you do not show your reasons for grant of remission, then we will draw our own conclusions," the SC bench had said, reported NDTV.
During a hearing in March, the Supreme Court had described the gang rape of Bilkis Bano and the murder of her family as a "horrendous" act.
The court had also asked the Gujarat government if it applied uniform standards, similar to other murder cases while granting remission to the 11 convicts.
"Like you cannot compare apples with oranges, similarly massacre cannot be compared with single murder... Today it is Bilkis but tomorrow it can be anyone. It may be you or me," the court had said, according to the report.
In November last year, Bilkis Bano had filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the "premature" release of the 11 convicts by the Gujarat government. She argued that the remission of their sentence had "shaken the conscience of society".