Delhi ( New Delhi)

Bilkis Bano case: Plea challenging remission of 11 convicts mentioned in Supreme Court, CJI says will look into it

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said it will consider the plea for an urgent hearing on the petitions challenging the exemption granted to the 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano case.

This was stated by advocate Aparna Bhat after mentioning one of these petitions before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana. The petition has been filed by three petitioners including CPI(M) leader Subhashini Ali and independent journalist Revathi Laul. The second petition has also been filed by Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra.

When the issue was raised in the court on Tuesday, the CJI asked whether the release was based on the Supreme Court order, to which Bhat said the apex court by an order had given discretion to the Gujarat government to take a decision.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal said the challenge was on the principles of exemption. To this, the CJI said, ‘Let’s see.

When Bhat asked whether the court would consider listing the matter on Wednesday, the CJI replied: “Let’s see.”

The Gujarat government released 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano murder and 2002 gang rape case as part of its remission and premature release policy on August 15, when one of the convicts, Radheshyam Shah, moved to the Supreme Court. Shah, who was sentenced to life imprisonment by a CBI court in Mumbai in 2008, had completed 15 years and 4 months in jail.

Bilkis was gang-raped by a mob on March 3, 2002, in Limkheda taluka of Dahod district, and 14 people, including her three-year-old daughter Saleha, were killed. Bilquis was pregnant at the time.

Reacting to the release of the convicts, Bilkis said she was “devoid of words” and “still numb”.

“Today, all I can say is – how can justice for any woman end like this? I had faith in the highest courts of my country. I trusted the system and was slowly learning to live with my trauma. The release of these convicts has taken away my peace and shaken my faith in justice,” she had said in a statement.

The 11 released convicts include Jaswant Nai, Govind Nai, Shailesh Bhatt, Radhesham Shah, Bipin Chandra Joshi, Kesarbhai Vohaniya, Pradeep Mordhia, Bakabhai Vohaniya, Rajubhai Soni, Mitesh Bhatt, and Ramesh Chandana.

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Nisha

Hi, my name is Nisha and I'm an educational journalist based in India. I've always been passionate about the power of education to transform lives, and that's what led me to pursue a career in journalism focused on this area. I completed my Bachelor's degree in English from Hindu College in Delhi in 2013 and then went on to earn my Master's in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in 2017. During my studies, I also completed several short-term courses on Education in India, Sociology, and other related subjects to deepen my knowledge in this field. I'm particularly interested in improving access to quality education in rural areas, where students often face significant challenges. I've worked on a number of initiatives to address this issue, including advocating for better policies, resources, and practices that can make a difference. As an educational journalist, I'm passionate about using my platform to highlight important issues in the education space. I've covered a wide range of topics, including the impact of technology in the classroom, innovative approaches to teaching and learning, and the challenges facing students from marginalized communities. One of the things I love most about my work is the opportunity to constantly learn and grow. I'm an avid reader and believe that reading is key to expanding one's knowledge and perspective. I'm always seeking out new ideas and insights to help me better understand the world around me. In summary, as an educational journalist, I'm dedicated to using my skills and expertise to make a positive impact in the field of education. I'm committed to improving access to quality education for all students and to using my platform to raise awareness about important issues in this area.

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