18 Apr 2023

Bilkis Bano Case: Supreme Court Says Massacre Cannot Be Compared With Single Murder


New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday expressed its displeasure and questioned as to why parole was granted to 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano case, when the gravity of the offence should have been considered by the Gujarat government.

The Supreme Court said, "Apples cannot be compared with oranges, similarly massacre cannot be compared with single murder," a two-judge bench of the Apex Court, headed by Justice K M Joseph, and also comprising Justice B V Nagarathna said.

Bano was 21 years old and five months pregnant when she was gang-raped while fleeing the riots that broke out after the Godhra train burning incident. Her three- year-old daughter was among the seven family members killed.

The Top Court said, “Just because Union has approved does not mean, the state (Gujarat govt) is not required to apply mind. Today, this is this lady, and tomorrow it could be someone else.There must be objective standards."

The bench issued notice to the Centre, Gujarat government and the convicts on the plea filed by Bano and asked the parties to complete the pleadings by the next date of hearing.

Further hearing in May first week


"Every action should be for public good," the Supreme Court said and posted the matter for further hearing to May first week.

The apex court has today posted the batch of pleas challenging remission to convicts in the case for final disposal in May.

The Apex Court granted Union of India (UOI) & Guj govt time till May 1 to decide whether it wishes to file review of its March 27 order directing UOI & state to be ready with files granting remission to 11 convicts.

The Apex Court also questioned the reservations, of both the Govts, and asked what's there to hide if a legal decision was taken.

The Top Court fixed the next hearing on May 2 but emphasised that the crime in question was "horrendous" and it's imperative for the Gujarat Govt to show application of mind in allowing pre-mature release of the 11 convicts.

Bilkis Bano, through her lawyer, Shobha Gupta, had filed the writ petition challenging the remission or premature release given to 11 gangrape convicts.

Bilkis Bano, had filed a writ petition, after the Supreme Court had last year, after her review petition was dismissed last year in December.

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