Bilkis Bano gang rape case: Supreme Court likely to hear plea against remission release for 11 convicts

The 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano rape case were prematurely released by the Gujarat government under the remission policy.

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A massive wave of outrage was sparked with the 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano gang rape case – who were sentenced to life imprisonment – released by the Gujarat government under their remission policy after more than 15 years.

Now, there is a chance that the release of Bilkis Bano’s rapists be reversed by the Supreme Court, as it is likely to hear a plea challenging the remission granted to the 11 convicts in the gruesome rape and murder case which is two decades old.

A Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana agreed to look into the matter after advocate Aparna Bhat mentioned the matter seeking an urgent listing on Wednesday, just a few days after the 11 convicts were released.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal also mentioned the matter and said, "The Supreme Court gave a discretion to the government to consider it. We are challenging the remission, not the order of Supreme Court".

Earlier on August 19, Telangana MLC K Kavitha wrote a letter to Chief Justice of India, NV Ramana urging the Supreme Court to intervene in the matter of the release of 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano rape case under the remission policy of the Gujarat government.

Bilkis Bano, who was pregnant at the time, was gang-raped and her three-year-old daughter Saleha was among 14 killed by a mob on March 3, 2002, in Dahod during violence that broke out across the state after the Sabarmati Express was attacked in Godhra and 59 passengers, mainly 'kar sewaks', were burnt to death.

The remission granted to the convicts of the Bilkis Bano gang rape case came as a shock to her family, who had gotten to know of the release through media. Bano’s husband had said that the family was “left numb” by the news, and had urged the Gujarat government to reverse its decision.

Earlier, Bilkis Bano’s family had also said that despite the atrocities faced by them, the Gujarat government had not given them the house and job as promised before, and they were still living without a permanent address.

(With inputs from agencies)

READ | ‘Still no place to live, no job by government': Bilkis Bano's family on release of her rapists in Gujarat

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