8 Jan 2024

Supreme Court revokes premature release of 11 convicts in gangrape of Bilkis Bano during Gujarat riots

The Supreme Court on Monday canceled the premature release of 11 convicts in the gangrape of Bilkis Bano during the Gujarat riots.

On August 15 last year, the Gujarat government, while acting on the pardon petition of the convicts, released 11 convicts. All the convicts were serving their sentence in Godhra sub jail.

In this case, all the culprits were sentenced to life imprisonment.

The Gujarat government clarified that this pardon was given under the state's pardon policy applicable at the time of sentencing of the culprits.

During the riots in Gujarat in 2002, 14 members of Bilkis Bano's family were murdered and they were also gang-raped.

SC affirms the validity of Bilkis Bano's petition 

The Supreme Court has affirmed the validity of Bilkis Bano's petition challenging the premature release of 11 individuals who had raped her and committed atrocities against her family during the 2002 Gujarat riots. The court has declared that the hearings on this matter will proceed.

The Gujarat government's release of these convicts on Independence Day in 2022, based on an outdated law, drew widespread condemnation and sparked outrage from the opposition, activists, and civil society.

These released convicts received a warm reception, and disturbingly, they were observed sharing the stage with a BJP MP and MLA. Notably, Radheshaym Shah, one of the convicts, had even begun practicing law, a fact that has been brought to the attention of the Supreme Court.

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