| 2 months

SC to hear Bano plea on release of 11

New Delhi: The Supreme Court is set to hear Bilkis Bano’s review and writ petition challenging the early release of her 11 rape convicts on December 12 and 13.

A two-judge Bench headed by Justice Ajay Rastogi and also comprising Justice Bela Trivedi will hear the review petition on December 12 and her writ petition the next day.

The same bench is currently seized by a bunch of Public Interest Litigations (PILs) against the remission granted to the 11 rape-and-murder case convicts.

The premature release of the 11 in August have triggered nationwide outrage and protests, following which many petitions were filed in the Supreme Court, including by Bilkis and many social activists and members of the civil society and others.

The 11 men were convicted in 2008 for raping her and killing seven of her family members, including her daughter, during the 2002 Gujarat riots.

Bilkis on November 30 had knocked the doors of the Supreme Court and filed a Review Petition against the premature release of the 11 convicts sentenced to life term for her rape and murder of seven of her family members.

“Bilkis Bano is the victim of one of the most gruesome and inhuman communal hate crimes India has ever witnessed. She muster the courage and regroup herself to hold the baton once again, after getting over with the extremely excruciating 17 years long drawn legal battle in ensuring that her culprits are punished for the egregious crime they had committed,” Bilkis’s petition said.

The convicts in their petition remained absolutely silent and has not disclosed and completely concealed the egregious nature of the crime for which they were convicted by the Trial Court, High Court and the apex court.

Their concealment of facts is nothing less than deliberately playing fraud upon this court with an intention to mislead this court to procure a favourable order, the review petition of Bilkis filed by senior lawyer Shobha Gupta said.

“The en-masse premature release of the convicts in much talked about case of Bilkis has shaken the conscience of the society…. The apex court has declared that en-masse remissions are not permissible and that remission cannot be sought or granted as a matter of right of the convict without examining the case of each convict individually based on their peculiar facts and role played by them in the crime,” it said.

The worst part was that nobody, not even Bilkis, the victim of the crime, had any inkling about any such process of premature release.