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Bilkis Bano case: SC agrees to examine plea against remission of convicts

The plea was mentioned by advocate Aparna Bhat and senior advocate Kapil Sibal before a bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana.

IANS | New Delhi |

The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to examine a plea challenging the remission granted to the 11 who were convicted for the rape and murder in the 2002 Bilkis Bano case.

The plea was mentioned by advocate Aparna Bhat and senior advocate Kapil Sibal before a bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana. The counsel submitted that they are challenging the remission order, and emphaszied that a pregnant woman was raped and people were killed.

The bench queried the counsel if they were granted remission by virtue of the top court order. Sibal replied that the apex court merely directed the state to consider the matter, and they were challenging the remission, not the top court order.

The bench said, “we will see”. Bhat urged the court to list the matter for Wednesday. The bench replied, “let us see the papers”.

Eleven convicts, sentenced to life imprisonment, were released from Godhra sub-jail on August 15 after the Gujarat government allowed their release under its remission policy. The convicts had completed more than 15 years in jail.

In January 2008, a special CBI court in Mumbai had sentenced the convicts to life imprisonment for gang-rape and murder of seven members of Bilkis Bano’s family. The Bombay High Court upheld their conviction.

Bano was 21-years-old and five months pregnant when she was gang-raped while fleeing the violence that broke out after the Godhra train burning.