The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to constitute a special bench to hear the pleas challenging the Gujarat government’s order for the premature release of 11 convicts sentenced to life in the Bilkis Bano gang rape case.
“I will have a bench constituted. Will look at it this evening,” Chief Justice DY Chandrachud said. This is the second time the apex court has agreed to set up a special bench to take up the matter.
A bench of Chandrachud and justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala assured Bano, represented through her lawyer Shobha Gupta, that the new bench will be formed.
Gupta informed that the matter has been mentioned four times earlier but is yet to be taken up for preliminary hearing and notice.
Bilkis was gang-raped and her three-year-old daughter was among 14 people killed by a mob on 03 March 2002, in Limkheda taluka of Dahod district during the 2002 Gujarat genocide.
The convicts were awarded life imprisonment by a special CBI court in Mumbai in January 2008 on charges of gang rape and murder of seven members of Bilkis Bano’s family during the anti-Muslim genocide. In May 2017, the conviction was upheld by the Bombay High Court.
The 11 convicts were released on August 15 last year, drawing global outrage.