Bilkis Bano approaches SC, challenges release of 11 rape convicts

The top court said it will consider listing the matter for hearing.

Bilkis Bano, Supreme Court
The 11 convicts were released by the Gujarat government on August 15, Independence Day, under a past remission policy | Pic: PTI

Bilkis Bano has challenged the remission of sentence and release of convicts in the 2002 rape and murder case filing a plea before the Supreme Court.

“Will look into the listing of the plea,” said CJI D Y Chandrachud, after Bano’s lawyer mentioned the matter before him on Wednesday (November 30).

The 11 men convicted of raping Bano, and murdering her family members, were released by the Gujarat government on August 15, Independence Day, under a past remission policy.

Also Read: You taught Bilkis Bano’s rapists will be freed, Owaisi lashes out at Amit Shah

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Their release sparked massive outrage and protests after photos and videos on social media, showed the rapists being garlanded and welcomed like heroes by a Hindu organization.

The 1992 remission policy

The Supreme Court had, in reply to a petition by one of the convicts, said that the Gujarat government could consider releasing him under the 1992 remission policy.

Based on the Supreme Court ruling, the Gujarat government released the 11 men. The move was cleared by the central government within two weeks.

Also Read: Bilkis Bano case: SC agrees to hear fresh plea challenging remission granted to convicts

The convict’s release would not have been possible if the Gujarat government had gone by the 2014 remission policy, which bars the release of rape and murder convicts.

Bano, in her petition, had said that Maharashtra, not Gujarat, should decide on releasing the men.

Blikis Bano was 21 when she was gang-raped by the 11 men who killed nine members of her family during the 2002 Gujarat riots.

Also Read: Early release of Bilkis case convicts talking point in Gujarat polls but views divided on Cong gain

Bano’s petition before the Supreme Court, comes a day before Gujarat votes in the first of the two rounds of the Gujarat Assembly elections.

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