The Supreme Court on Thursday observed that in the Bilkis Bano case, the convicts had the privilege of getting parole for many days, unlike several other convicts.
A bench of Justices BV Nagarathna and Ujjal Bhuyan was hearing a clutch of pleas against the decision of the Gujarat government to grant remission to the 11 Hindutva men who had been sentenced to life imprisonment for gangraping Bilkis Bano and murdering 14 members of her family during the 2002 Muslim genocide in Gujarat. In 2022, on Independence Day, the convicts were allowed to walk free after their application for remission of the sentence was approved by the Gujarat BJP government.
During a previous hearing, advocates Shobha Gupta and Vrinda Grover had said that the convicts had not paid the fines imposed by the court. They said that this was despite the Bombay High Court having ordered that the fine amount should be given as compensation to the victim, and contended that this showed a lack of remorse.
Justice Nagarathna said: “In this case, the convicts had the privilege of coming out for several hundreds of days. There are some convicts who are privileged, no? As opposed to others. That is the point we want to make.”
The Supreme Court will hear the case further on September 20.