Thursday, February 22, 2024

“We understand you don’t want this bench to hear”: Supreme Court to convicts in Bilkis Bano case

The Supreme Court today expressed its displeasure at the attempt by the Bilkis Bano gang rape convicts to avoid the present bench from hearing the case challenging their remission.

“It is clear what is being attempted here. I will retire on June 16. Since that is during the vacation, my last working day is Friday, May 19. It is obvious you do not want this bench to hear the matter. But, this is not fair to me. We had made it absolutely clear that the matter will be heard for disposal. You are officers of the court. You are officers of the court. Do not forget that role. You may win a case, or lose one. But, do not forget your duty to this court,” said Justice Joseph.

Justice Joseph made the remark in the context of counsel for the convicts seeking adjournment to file their counter-affidavits, and some of them alleging that service of notice had not been completed as alleged by counsel for the petitioner.

The top court was considering a batch of pleas challenging the decision of the Gujarat government to grant remission to 11 Hindutva men who had gang-raped Bilkis Bano and murdered her family members during the 2002 Gujarat Muslim genocide.

Earlier, the apex court said that the crime against Bano and her family members was a horrendous one, but underscored that the matter will be decided on the basis of law.

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