Bilkis Bano Case: SC Quashes Remission For 11 Rapists, ‘To Go Back To Jail’

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has overturned the Gujarat government’s decision to release the 11 convicts who raped Bilkis Bano and killed her family during the 2002 Gujarat riots.

Holding the plea challenging the remission as ‘maintainable’, a bench of Justices BV Nagarathna and Ujjal Bhuyan said that the Gujarat government had no jurisdiction to pass remission orders in the case of the convicts. The top court stated that the orders of the remission were stereotyped as the convicts didn’t approach the court with clean hands.

“The state of Gujarat acted in complicit with the convicts…it was this very apprehension which led this Court to transfer the trial out of the state,” the Supreme Court bench said.

The development came after the apex court panel on October 12, 2023 reserved its verdict after an 11-day hearing on the pleas, including the one filed by Bilkis Bano.

All 11 convicts were granted remission by the Gujarat government and were released on August 15, 2022, on the basis of an obsolete law.

Bilkis Bano, the petitioner, was 21 years old and five months pregnant when she was gang-raped during the communal riots that broke out after the Godhra train-burning incident in 2002. Seven of her family members, including her three-year-old daughter, were killed in the riots.

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