SC rejects Bilkis Bano’s review petition against remission

New Delhi: Big setback for Bilkis Bano, as the Supreme Court had dismissed her review petition in which she had challenged this year’s May 13 verdict which directed the Gujarat government to decide remission pleas of 11 life imprisonment persons convicted for gangrapes-murders during 2002 communal riots in Gujarat.
A bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Justice Ajay Rastogi and also comprising Justice Vikram Nath, dismissed Bilkis Bano’s review petition on December 13.
An official communication from the Supreme Court to Bilkis Bano’s lawyer, Shobha Gupta, said her review petition is dismissed.
The review petition also saw that Justice Bela M Teivedi recused from hearing the case earlier.
Bano had filed the review petition seeking to reverse its earlier order by which it had asked the Gujarat government to consider the plea for remission of one of the convicts.
As per procedures, review pleas against top court judgements are decided in chambers by circulation by the judges who were part of the judgement under review.
Bilkis, in her review petition, said even being the victim of the crime, she had no clue about any such process of remission or premature release initiated.
Gujarat’s remission order is a mechanical order of remission by completely ignoring the law requirement as consistently laid down, the plea said.
The remission in this heinous case would be entirely against public interest and would shock the collective public conscience, as also be entirely against the interests of the victim (whose family has publicly made statements worrying for her safety), the review petition stated.
The Gujarat government had released the 11 convicts, who were sentenced to life imprisonment, on August 15. All the 11 life-term convicts in the case were released as per the remission policy prevalent in Gujarat at the time of their conviction in 2008.
In March 2002 during the post-Godhra riots, Bano was allegedly gang-raped and left to die with 14 members of her family, including her three-year-old daughter. She was five months pregnant when rioters attacked her family in Vadodara.

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