A plea was filed challenging the remission granted to 11 life convicts in the gangrape and murder case by CPI(M) leader Subhashini Ali, journalist Revathy Laul and activist Roop Rekha Rani.

Bilkis Bano: SC issues notice to Gujarat govt over convicts’ release in gangrape and murder caseFile Image of Bilkis Bano/PTI
news Court Thursday, August 25, 2022 - 12:43

The Supreme Court on Thursday, August 25, sought responses from the Union government and the Gujarat government on a plea challenging the remission granted to 11 life convicts in the case of Bilkis Bano's gangrape and murder of her family members. A bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana issued notice to the Union government and the Gujarat state government on the plea and asked the petitioners to implead those who have been granted remission as parties in the matter. The apex court also posted the matter for hearing after two weeks.

The remission and consequent release of 11 convicts on August 15 this year from the Godhra sub-jail under the Gujarat government's remission policy has sparked a debate on the issue of such relief in heinous cases. The plea in the apex court has been filed by CPI(M) leader Subhashini Ali, journalist Revathy Laul and activist Roop Rekha Rani. The 11 convicts walked out of the Godhra sub-jail on August 15 after the Gujarat government allowed their release under its remission policy. They had completed more than 15 years in jail.

Bilkis Bano was 21 years old and five months pregnant when she was gangraped while fleeing the violence that broke out after the Godhra train burning. Among those killed was her three-year-old daughter. Two days after the convicts were released, Bilkis Bano issued a statement saying their release had shaken her faith in justice. "Two days ago, on August 15, the trauma of the past 20 years washed over me again. When I heard that the 11 convicted men who devastated my family and my life, and took from me my 3-year-old daughter, had walked free. I was bereft of words," Bano said in her statement.

"Today, I can only say this - how can justice for any woman end like this? I trusted the highest courts in our land. I trusted the system, and I was learning slowly to live with my trauma. The release of these convicts has taken from me my peace and shaken my faith in justice. My sorrow and my wavering faith is not for myself alone but for every woman who is struggling for justice in courts," Bano added.

Also read: 

‘Give me back my right to live without fear’: Bilkis Bano on release of convicts

Release of Bilkis Bano’s rapists ‘an insult to humankind’: BJP leader Khushbu

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