Sunday, March 3, 2024

Bilkis Bano case: Supreme Court overrules Gujarat govt decision to grant remission to 11 convicts

Bilkis Bano’s petition challenging the early release of 11 convicts who raped her and killed her family during the 2002 Gujarat genocide is valid, the Supreme Court said today.

The Supreme Court on Monday quashed the Gujarat government’s decision to grant remission to 11 convicts, noting that the appropriate government to decide remission is the state within whose jurisdiction the accused were sentenced and not the state within whose territorial limits the offence was committed or the accused were imprisoned.

The convicts were released by the Gujarat government on Independence Day in 2022 on the basis of an obsolete law, which triggered a wave of condemnation and outrage. The convicts were given a hero’s welcome and were seen sharing stage with a BJP MP and MLA. 

The apex court also said that its May 2022 order directing Gujarat government to decide the remission was secured by suppressing facts and fraud played on court. Hence, the order is a nullity and non-est in the eyes of law.

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